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Journalist Nivedita Khandekar On The Government’s And Corporates’ Contribution In Environmental Pollution

  • IWB Post
  •  July 25, 2019

We’ve all been writing essays on environment conservation and sustainable development since the 5th standard, we know the environment is being harmed; the planet is being polluted at a rate faster than its capacity to recover, and one day when all of this blows up it’s going to cost the entire human race.

But despite knowing all of these facts, the majority of us don’t actively do anything to help the environment and it’s probably because the effects of pollution aren’t affecting us directly in our privileged home. There are people dying of droughts and famines, people without access to clean water in Indian villages and there are people suffering from diseases in Flint due to industries dumping toxic waste in water bodies, but since we aren’t living in either one of these places we cannot grasp the seriousness of the issue in its entirety.

On how to sensitize people on this matter, Nivedita Khandekar, a freelance journalist who writes on environmental, developmental, and social issues says, “Trips to such areas should be organized, not just for students but for elders too. Increasing the cost of piped water for those who use it in excess and interaction with the troubled communities can also help. Technology can be of much use to help citizens understand the gravity of the situation of a waterless world – by way of animation films, virtual reality graphics and even showcasing problem area visuals – to drive home the fact that water is not an endless resource. We need to conserve it today to survive tomorrow. Getting them involved in some kind of compulsory activity for water conservation in cities can help too. Monetary incentives for those who conserve water will help too.”

But the onus of destroying the planet and its resources doesn’t just fall on the shoulders of the common citizen, corporations and the governments are to be blamed as well. Poor implementation of environmental policies or an absolute disinterest in being considerate is something that most corporate houses are guilty of and our government is in the same boat.

In a recent Twitter chat with IWB, Nivedita discourses with us on the water crisis in India, the effects of deforestation, the contributions of government and corporations in the degradation of our environment.

On the difference of opinion between the government and the environmentalists

Nivedita Khandekar on Twitter

@indianwomenblog @AnantayaDecor Yes, so true. The two sides will ALWAYS be at loggerheads on any such issues, more so on the dams. To address it within the context of dams, I will reiterate my position: we DO NOT need big dams. Small, local, de-centralised water storage is the key in future.

Nivedita Khandekar on Twitter

@indianwomenblog @AnantayaDecor The way to break the stalemate will never be easy. The government will first need to be honest, it should educate people about the projects and then give them a choice. On the part of the environmentalist, they need to be honest about the purpose too 2/n #MaahiRoj2019

On how the political parties and the corporate houses control the environment

Nivedita Khandekar on Twitter

@indianwomenblog @AnantayaDecor Political parties, corporates … all try to evade answers as much as possible. Or … try and give vague answers. It is on us journalist to pursue and nag those people. 3/n MaahiRoj2019

Nivedita Khandekar on Twitter

@indianwomenblog @AnantayaDecor My way to reach the truth is to keep trying and reach my sources, tap technology to dig out data and most important, get information from the ground, from the community affected, from the last person in the line. #MaahiRoj2019

On the gap between discussion and action

Nivedita Khandekar on Twitter

@indianwomenblog @AnantayaDecor The gap between what is discussion and action is because of two things #IMO … One, people feel it is somebody else’s job to do it, raise questions, fight the system etc. And second, those who can deliver, do not have anything at stake 1/n #MaahiRoj2019

On how to break the nexus between corporates and politicians to conserve resources

Nivedita Khandekar on Twitter

@indianwomenblog @AnantayaDecor Unfortunately, this nexus is pretty strong and at very few places, when the community is really united and law takes its course, then only it has succeeded. The only way to do this is … a) sensitization of all stakeholders – govt, 1/n #MaahiRoj2019

Nivedita Khandekar on Twitter

@indianwomenblog @AnantayaDecor corporates, judiciary and folks on the street/villagers. To make them understand, what is at stake for each of the stakeholder. b) Strategic dealing with corporates to assure them that taking care of the environment will help them in the long run; 2/n #MaahiRoj2019

On how women would help the environment

Nivedita Khandekar on Twitter

@indianwomenblog @AnantayaDecor Unfortunately true that it is mostly men who control the scenario in majority of the places. But there is hope. Many places across India and the world are witnessing women taking up the lead … that should start showing results in some time. 1/n #MaahiRoj2019

Nivedita Khandekar on Twitter

@indianwomenblog @AnantayaDecor the movement (or a project, or anything) gets a 360 degree perspective and can find better solutions to any given problems. One simple example: A woman sarpanch thinks of better placement of handpumps (so that women need to walk less) 3/n #MaahiRoj2019

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