Our Environment

The earth has a delicate eco-system. Its balance depends on an interlinked cycle of various activities. The environment comprises of living and non-living things. Life depends upon non-living habitat that is the air, water, and soil, etc.

Various types of animals and plants including human-beings, aquatic life, micro-organisms are interdependent on each other. The green plants are the producers. The animals as consumers survive on them. Plants provide us with food, shelter, clothing and also clean air. They also articulate rainfall and climate.

Therefore, if the greenery is destroyed, it would disturb the whole food chain and the balance in the environment. Unfortunately,  short-sighted and indiscriminate industrialization, deforestation, automation and artificial ways of life have polluted and damaged the environment in the recent past.

There is a need to protect our environment by adopting an approach for development and life-styles which are compatible with nature. The non-living things of the environment which consist of land, rivers, oceans, lakes, air, minerals, etc. provide us resources and suitable habitat,

These are complementary to living things and are necessary for their survival. Vegetation and forests regulate the climate and environment. For example, the growth of plants depends upon the quality of soil, water, and air. As such, it is essential that all care is taken to maintain an environmental balance and protect it from pollution, and it is possible by population control.

Need to Save Trees

Forests are part of the national property. Therefore they are rightly known as green gold. In ancient days they were the chief source of wood for fuel, but for modern civilization, they are useful for humanity in various ways. So we should adopt the policy of afforestation in place of deforestation.

Forests are also very important from a cultural point of view. The Vedas were written in forests. The ancient Ashram schools were held in these forests. Nearly 7.5 lac sq. km of Indian land is covered by forests. It. is 23 percent of the total land of the country. There is a great importance of forests in the national economy. ‘Van Mahotsav’ is observed and trees are planted in July and August every year.

The forest development program has been taken up. There are forest colleges and forest research centers in Dehradun, Bengaluru, and Coimbatore. From an administration point of view, forests are classified as Reserved, Protected and Unclassified. Afforestation is a must for the progress and development of the nation. Forests check floods and help rainfall. They also increase the fertility of a country. But the destruction of India’s forests has brought the country to the brink of environmental disaster.

According to the National Forest Policy, one-third of the country’s geographical area should be under good forest cover. The destruction of natural vegetal cover causes the loss of topsoil. Rural poverty and ecological imbalance are correlated. Poverty increases with environmental degradation. As the need of the poor and the industrialists keep increasing, forests continue to disappear. There are no universal species that can be grown on all land.

Our approach should be to select suitable species, which are the fastest-growing. The work of afforestation cannot be left to the traditional departments. We have to build from the bottom up with plantations and small forests to thousands Of plantations.

The problem of Drinking Water

Today we are facing the problem of drinking water. We see worldwide that water is polluted in so many ways. Hydrosphere occupies the greatest part of the Earth. The saline water is not usable as drinking water. The water having salty taste has corrosion of metals and is impure for human beings. In this water unhealthy elements are dissolved.

As it is very difficult to remove these elements from water, we should develop a new source of water. Standing water like tub or toilet tank may appear gray or black. There is metallic taste in water. In this water, manganese is dissolved from nearby disturbance. Water which is initially clear but produces brown, orange or red-dish stains or sediment, the water is not drinkable. In such water is dissolved iron.

For purifying such water oxidizing filters for higher concentrations should be used. If water is turbid, cloudy or dirty, it is not good for drinking purposes. This condition may originate from oxidized metals. For such water, the possible solution is a cartridge or bad element filtration or multi-level media filtration. If there is an oily film floating on water it is harmful for human consumption.

The common cause of this is the inclusion of a variety of substances like fuels, motor oil, lubricating oil, cooking oil, animal-derived fats and decomposition of natural organic matter. Ongoing testing is necessary to determine the frequency of replacing carbon in the filter. To solve the problem at grassroots level atmospheric pollution should be reduced and river water should be made pollution-free.

Earthquake

An earthquake is a sudden shaking of the earth. It happens always in our country. The earthquake is very frequent in Assam. Tremors appear at short intervals. But when the shaking is violent, it causes much damage to us. Houses crumble down, trees are uprooted, the course of rivers is changed and sometimes the very geography of a place undergoes a thorough change. There are various reasons for the earthquake.

According to popular belief, the earth is held on its head by a big serpent Vasuki. Sometimes Vasuki gets tired or angry, then he moves his head and there is an earthquake. Science, however, has put forward reasonable causes of this event. The interior of the earth is growing gradually and cools owing to the radiation of heat. The cooler the earth, the things inside it get smaller in size.

It causes a constant movement in the blow of earth. When movement becomes violent it creates a shaking of the earth’s crust and we have an earthquake. Sometimes a part of the earth’s surface suddenly goes down with great velocity and causes an earthquake. Sometimes the eruption of a volcano is responsible for this terrible event. Whatever the reasons, the consequences of an earthquake are terrible.

Thousands of people die, thousands again become homeless and helpless. Floods occur and destroy all crops causing untold suffering to people, Some places sink down into the earth with houses, trees, men and animals, while other new places arise up their heads from below. The water of the sea recedes at places giving birth to new tracts of land while the sea engulfs large portions of land once rich with vegetation and population.

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FLOODS IN INDIA

Though India has made phenomenal scientific and technological advancements yet we suffer from many natural calamities every year. We in India become frequent victims of devastating floods, drought, famine, storms, and earthquakes. Floods have become a matter of common occurrence every year, especially in North India. They begin every year from the months of July and August. During this period monsoon breaks over the country.

However, in the North-Eastern parts of the country, such ravage starts even earlier. Due to the heavy rains, the rivers go into spate. With the result water enters various low lying areas, forcing the people to flee and take refuge at higher levels.

Meanwhile, water continues on its course of destruction, leveling on its way houses, villages, bridges, roads, cattle, unsuspecting people and leaving behind untold misery and diseases. Rivers like the mighty Brahmaputra in the Assam region, Ganga in the Northern plains, Tapti and Ghandhak in the Gangetic plains and Damodar in Central India have been a major cause of sorrow every year during the monsoon. They are snow-fed and perennial rivers. During summer, the melting of snow in the Himalayas causes a flood. Even the rain-fed rivers like the Godavari, Narmada, Mahanadi, Krishna, Kaveri, etc. also get flooded when they receive heavy rainfalls during the monsoon season.

They often burst their banks and dams. They discharge the maximum quantity of water and cause a deluge. The big network of mighty rivers in India is a great boon and blessing for her but during floods, they also become a great curse. Some of the main reasons for these floods are the rapidly depleting forest covers, reduction of the catchment areas, landslides and massive soil erosion. With these flood preventers gone, the intensity of floods has increased manifolds. In this way, floods are not only natural but also man-made. property and crops worth millions of rupees are destroyed by the inexplicable fury of floods.

They also destroy life, Standing crops. people, livestock and villages and towns are swept away. Even the huts and houses collapse, Roads railings are also damaged. Floods also play havoc with the communication system, road networks and the supply of essential commodities to the cities. Many far-flung areas and towns are cut off from the national mainstream for a large period of time. Public services are -miserably wrecked and epidemics spread during the wake of floods. We can minimize the floods by afforestation on a vast scale in the catchment areas and slopes of the mountains etc.

The cutting of forests for timber and fuel should be banned by law. The rivers of the country should be interlinked so that the floodwater may be taken to the drought-hit areas. A chain of small reservoirs should be constructed besides big dams check floods. The small dams, tanks, and reservoirs Would control floods and help in power generation. We should prevent the denudation of green cover in the flood areas by planting trees. A few of our rivers rise in Nepal.

Therefore, we should undertake some river projects jointly. Some rivers are common to both India and Bangladesh. We should seek the cooperation in Nepal and Bangladesh in the construction of dams, afforestation, and distillation of the common rivers. We can take of expected floods in enriching the soil and in moving heavy logs from heights to the plains. We can also take precautionary measures to save men and animals from its fury. But unexpected floods take the people unawares and cause huge losses. Massive relief operations should be undertaken immediately during floods to rescue the flood-affected people.

The victims of floods should be provided shelters, clothes, food and medicines at the earliest. Corpses and carcasses should be quickly and properly disposed of. Timely action can rescue many precious lives. But prevention is better than cure. Solid steps should be’ taken by the government to avert or minimize the occurrence and dangers of floods. The recurring floods should not be accepted as a part of life or natural calamity.

The government has established the Department for the prevention of floods. Its function’ includes suggestions and implementation of various ways and means to prevent floods and related damages.

However, till now millions of rupees have been spent on this exercise but without any effective solution. On the contrary, the fury of the floods has increased unabated. Thus playing havoc with the national economy and the precious human resources.

Pollution

The world is much more populated than it was a century ago. The increase in population has given rise to many problems. There are problems of food and employment. One of the most disturbing problems is pollution. It is really very dangerous for mankind. The different activities of man have caused different kinds of pollution. There are the dirty discharges from man and his work.

He washes himself and his clothes from water. This water is dirty. Then there is the discharge of dirty water and chemicals from factories. All this dirt is directed to rivers. This results in the pollutions of water. There is smoke from homes and from factories.

There is smoke from automobiles and buses, scooters and motorcycles. All pollute the air. The great noise in large cities is also a nuisance. Water and air are the most essential requirements for man. If they are polluted man cannot lead a healthy life. It is harmful to bathe in the polluted water of sacred rivers.

It is harmful to drink that water, polluted air is even more harmful. Man can avoid using polluted water but there is no escape from polluted air. People who breathe this air are in danger Of suffering from several diseases. These two pollutions—the pollution of water and air cause many diseases.

It is good that the Government of India is paying attention to the problem of pollution. The Department of Environment has been set up to control pollution. The scheme for the purification of the holy Ganga is already working. It is hoped that much good work will be done.

But the public has also some duty in this connection. There are many things which an individual should do. The water of the rivers should not be polluted by throwing dead bodies and other articles which destroy the purity of water. We should obey the rules of the government.

It is really very fortunate that the government is doing something to improve the present position. People should not ignore the rules of the government in this connection as they do in every other matter. If they co-operate with the government in these two ways, the problem of pollution will be solved soon.

whole food chain and the balance in the environment. Unfortunately,  short-sighted and indiscriminate industrialization, deforestation, automation and artificial ways of life have polluted and damaged the environment in the recent past.

There is a need to protect our environment by adopting an approach for development and life-styles which are compatible with nature. The non-living things of the environment which consist of land, rivers, oceans, lakes, air, minerals, etc. provide us resources and suitable habitat,

These are complementary to living things and are necessary for their survival. Vegetation and forests regulate the climate and environment. For example, the growth of plants depends upon the quality of soil, water, and air. As such, it is essential that all care is taken to maintain an environmental balance and protect it from pollution, and it is possible by population control.

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Disaster Management

 ‘Communities can work together as a team and become efficient disaster managers. ”

Meaning of disaster management: Disaster management can be defined as the organization and management of resources and responsibilities dealing with all humanitarian aspects of emergencies in particular preparedness, response, and recovery in order to lessen the impact of disasters.

Types of disasters: There is no country that is immune from disaster, though vulnerability to disaster varies. There are four main types of disaster :

(i) Natural disaster: These disasters include floods, hurricanes, earthquakes and volcano eruptions that can have immediate impacts on human health, as well as secondary impacts causing further death and suffering from floods causing landslides, earthquakes resulting in fires, tsunamis causing widespread flooding and typhoons sending ferries.

(ii) Environmental emergencies: They include technological or industrial accidents, usually involving hazardous material, and occur where these materials are produced, used or transported. Large forest fires are generally included in this definition because they tend to be caused by humans.

(iii) Complex emergencies: These emergencies involve a breakdown of authority, looting, and attacks on strategic installations. Complex emergencies include conflict situations and war.

(iv) Pandemic emergencies: These emergencies involve a sudden onset of a contagious disease that affects health but also disrupts services and businesses, bringing economic and social costs. Natural hazards Disasters resulting from natural hazards affect people through damage to homes, property, crop, livestock, and infrastructure.

Developing countries like India are hard hit by natural disasters. In the month of April-May 2013, Uttarakhand witnessed natural hazards by floods in which thousands of human lives were sacrificed. Training in disasters management: National Institute of Disasters Management, Delhi is responsible for the training of government officers, police, development agencies, people’s representatives and others. Disaster Management is linked with sustainable development particularly in relation to vulnerable people, school children, and other marginalized groups.