Going Green

Be a Zero Pollution Person

‘It is not wise to play fools with Mother Nature’ is an old saying, increasingly found true against the human foolishness in the quest for profit, proliferating pollution that threatens all forms of life. Leading among the ugly industrial disasters is the Bhopal Gas Tragedy (BGT) of 2nd and 3rd December 1984. It dwarfed other tragedies to become the mother of all industrial disasters, affecting around 7,00,000 citizens, killing more than 8,000 directly, injuring over 38,500 partially, and disabling 3900 severely and permanently.

1969 saw the establishment of the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) factory in Bhopal, in response to India’s quest to feed its hungry millions through its green revolution mantra of promoting chemical fertilizers to increase productivity and pesticides to check pests. UCIL produced ‘carbaryl’ which was considered a breakthrough in the pesticide industry with its effectiveness on insects. It was both harmful and beneficial to crops and it had been classified as a likely carcinogen for humans. Among the various methods of manufacturing it, the least expensive one involved the use of an intermediary, Methyl Isocyanate (MIC), a highly noxious gas. What turned out to be the villain in the hazard was MIC, with laxity in safety measures serving as its accomplice. It was revealed that this trans-world company did not employ the required preventive maintenance to ensure safety in spite of repeated warnings in this regard; apparently, the government machinery supposed to be playing the watchdog role, had gone slumbering.

Cover of the December 2022 issue of The Teenager Today featuring Indian women's cricket team captain Harmanpreet Kaur

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J. Prasant CMI, holds a Ph.D. in Social Work (Community Development). He served as the Principal of Sacred Heart College, Thevara, Kochi, for many years. An environmentalist, his work focuses on environmental education, organic farming, bio-diversity and waste management. In 2021, he travelled across India on a motorbike as part of the Trust-Green-Peace campaign.

J. Prasant

J. Prasant CMI, holds a Ph.D. in Social Work (Community Development). He served as the Principal of Sacred Heart College, Thevara, Kochi, for many years. An environmentalist, his work focuses on environmental education, organic farming, bio-diversity and waste management. In 2021, he travelled across India on a motorbike as part of the Trust-Green-Peace campaign.