‘Bigger disasters await those exploiting the earth for its resources’

If people are not ready to mend their ways of looking at nature as a sheer commodity and continue to exploit it they are digging their own graves, noted Gandhian and Sarvodaya Mandalam national president Radha Bhatt has said.

She was delivering the keynote address of an environment seminar organised by the Kerala Sarvodaya Mandalam at the Gandhigraham here on Tuesday.

Criticising those who are blindly promoting development at the cost of nature and the environment, Ms. Bhatt said that anyone who mistook nature as something to be exploited endlessly was helping in the extinction of life from the face of the earth. “Man has been depending on natural resources from time immemorial, but never in history has he been this dangerously greedy,” she said.

Stating that the enormity of man’s ever-growing greed was distressingly visible at different realms of life including the pollution of rivers, demolition of hills and filling of paddy fields, the chairperson of the Gandhi Peace Foundation said that if human greed was allowed to continue unbridled in the way it was going now what awaits the country are disasters of bigger magnitude than what happened in Uttarakhand. One shouldn’t forget that there is “enough (in this world) for everybody’s need, but not enough for anybody’s greed,” said Ms. Bhatt quoting Mahatma Gandhi.

She alleged that administrators of the country have got their priorities completely misplaced as far as development was concerned. And so is the attitude of the people towards money. “People have started putting money above everything,” she said. “We of course need money and grain but not to feed our greed,” she added.

Explaining the extent of pollution at different levels in the country including its rivers Ms. Bhatt said that almost all the rivers of the country including Ganga, which the villagers considered as their mother, was irreversibly polluted. “Earlier Ganga water was given to dying people at their last moment as amruth , but now if anyone wants to die he/she only need to drink a few drops from the Ganga,” she said.

Writer and Socialist Janata leader M.P. Veerendrakumar inaugurated the seminar. Environmentalist T. Shobeendran also spoke.

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