If we have to save the Himalayas…
What is happening in Joshimath is nothing but the anger of the environment towards us. The environment, which we call Mother Nature, once loved us all dearly. But now the same nature is fed up with our actions. That is why nature has now also given reactions against our actions. The reactions are so strong that not only people die, but now we are starting to create a situation where entire towns have to be shifted. It is a very horrible thing for all of us.
However, it is not too late. The proverb ‘Der Aye Durast Aye’ has also been created on our soil. So we still have some time, during which we can save our nature. All it needs is few laws, few regulations and strict adherence to those laws and regulations. Today let’s talk about Joshimath and Himalayan regions. We have to save the Himalayas starting from Jammu and Srinagar extending to Assam and Arunachal via Ladakh, Himachal, Uttarakhand, Arunachal from uncontrolled tourism.
Yes, one might think that if tourism runs the economy of the Himalayan region, how can it be controlled? But it is a hard truth that in this age of first Tik Tok and then Instagram Reels, tourism in the Himalayan regions has gone unchecked. Due to the lack of control, lakhs of tons of non-biodegradable waste is dumped in the Himalayas every day. It is because of this lack of control that unnecessary construction is taking place in the Himalayas. Due to this lack of control, the natural resources are being misused. It is because of this lack of control that the wildlife and ecosystem are endangered, and it is because of this lack of control that the rivers are getting polluted.
Apart from this, I can mention many other things, which are happening due to uncontrolled tourism. Even the local Himalayan tribes have been affected by this unregulated tourism and now the Himalayan areas are inhabited by traders from who are outsiders. And they are taking advantage of the tourism business. See economy and business is a different topic of discussion. Also, anyone has the constitutional right to do business anywhere in the country, but when it comes to the crisis of culture and environment, we should all give priority to culture and environment.
However, we have to talk about the environment here. So we have to discuss about the uncontrollability of tourism. If we study both Himalayan tourism and natural disasters there, we will realize that in the last decade and a half, tourism in the Himalayas has been the highest in the last century. Similarly, natural calamities in the Himalayas in the past decade have also been the highest in the past two centuries. This means that the Himalayas have faced multiple natural disasters in the past one decade that have not happened in a couple of centuries.
And another scientific reason is that the Himalayan mountain range is the youngest mountain range in the country. This mountain range can still be called an immature mountain range. At such a time, if there is an indiscriminate construction, the rivers as well as the nature are tampered, in the name of water rides and trekking and the ecology gets uncontrolled footfalls, it is obvious that the nature will also react against it.
This is why the government, specially the central government, that has already prepared a ministry for the purification of the river Ganga, has to create a body or ministry to protect the eco-sensitivity of the Himalayan regions. The body or ministry should coordinate with the Himalayan states like Jammu-Kashmir, Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Assam and Bengal and give priority to ecology and ecosensitivity there. All this states may be different, but the Himalayas are one and different policies of different states cannot be applied to one Himalaya.
If a policy is made by the central government, then the haphazard and unregulated tourism in the Himalayas can be brought under definite control. Due to this, random, unsystematic, and uncontrolled establishments of hotels, trekking sites or disposal of non-degradable waste can be brought under control. Otherwise we will end up harming the best gift that nature has given us like the Himalayas.
While writing this article, I keep remembering a recent trending video of Sushma Swarajji. The video contains a speech of Sushmaji in the Lok Sabha, in which she spoke about the sanctity and importance of the Himalayas and our rivers through a Sanskrit verse. She has said,
अपूज्या; यत्र पूज्यन्ते पूज्यानाम् च निरादर
त्रीणि तत्र प्रविशन्ति,दुर्भिक्षँ,मरणँ भयम
That is, when things that are not to be worshiped ( economical profit) or things that are not to be given importance ( uncontrolled tourism) increase in circulation and those that are to be worshiped or respected are disrespected than inevitably the consequences of hunger, death and fear will be born. The Himalayas and the eco-sensitivity of the Himalayas are a matter of reverence for us. And if we disobey it, natural calamities will keep coming and local people will have to face hunger, fear and death from those calamities. That is why I am reminding that saying again. ‘Der aye doorast aye’ it still not so late. We still have time to save the Himalayas.
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