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I sat down to relax after a week’s stay in the hospital. I could hear Aditi learning for an entrance examination that was supposed to be held the next morning. She said " A for Air conditioner, B for bugs, C for Car, D for DVD” Yes, she was just 3 years old and had an entrance exam even to join LKG. That reminded me of my KGs. My times were totally different.
I told Aditi ”Baby! You know, we used to say this in a different way- A for apple, B for Banana, C for Cat, D for Dog" and I laughed. She immediately asked me a question that made me flick through all the calenders I had crossed. She asked me " Dog? Cat? You mean the animals mom showed me in the zoo last week? By the way, what is a Banana?"
That question banged my head hard. I glanced at the just-like-a-mirror floor and could see wrinkles all over my face. We people had been so careless and disinterested in conserving the biodiversity. We, as kids, were much bothered about by hearting a big list of endangered, extinct and near extinction species. Slowly even these words got washed away by the tide of time. We got caught in the cob webs of life and never bothered to think beyond our own selves.
The result of all that has left my grandchildren walk around zoos to see even cats and dogs which were once seen roaming on every street, go to museums to see the skeletons of lions and tigers just like how we used to see dinosaurs. Most of us locked ourselves within our own lockers of life, comfortably counting the currency we had and today children count the number of animals that exists. It did not strike our money-driven mind when people said "Save Tigers", help animals, Conserve Biodiversity. This takes me back to the International year of bio diversity 2010 when i was a final year student at sairam.
The Digital Calender made fast Beep-Beep-Beep to roll back to the year 2010 august 10. Its 2075 now, 65 years were more than enough to bring all the possible changes in technology and sophistications. But one thing never changed, running behind money in spite of having a bank balance well enough for their great grand children to survive. The technology has so well developed that man could make the earth revolve around an artificial sun, altering the day-night pattern to a 24hours only day pattern and still say "Day wasn't enough, it could have be longer."
2010 August 10:
"An announcement! Students are requested to send their articles for MagaSai, our college magazine." said the speaker kept in every classroom. That broke a smile on my face, i was so excited. I wanted to write an article about biodiversity as it was "International year of Biodiversity". I was sure i could when i had the most reliable friend Mr.Google. The moment i clicked the mouse i got lot of pages flooding my screen. Most of the articles focused on Endangered, Extinct and Near Extinction species. I laughed seeing even Banana being listed there. I made fun of that article saying “Every street has a vendor earning his life selling Banana and these people say Banana is an endangered fruit. HAHAHA! Even a House Mouse is listed. So funny"
The very moment something hit my head and it hurt me hard. I opened my eyes and i was in my same old bedroom. I ran to the mirror and i was still young. My thoughts were swinging between 2075 and 2010. I still couldn't believe that it was 2010. The banana on the table and the dog on the street made my mind clear.
The benefits that we gain from biodiversity go far beyond the mere provision of raw materials. Our food and energy security strongly depend on biodiversity and so does our vulnerability to natural hazards such as fires and flooding. Biodiversity loss has negative effects on our health, material wealth and it largely limits our freedom of choice. As all cultures gain inspiration from or attach spiritual and religious values to ecosystems or their components – e.g. landscapes, trees, hills, rivers or particular species - biodiversity loss also strongly influences our social relations.
Biodiversity is crucial to human wellbeing, sustainable development and poverty reduction. But people - particularly those in the developed world - have become so far removed from nature that they have forgotten how much they, and others, rely on it. Loss of biodiversity is due to various reasons like pollution, habitat destruction. As individuals we can lend our hands to grip hold the biodiversity by using minimizing our consumption of gasoline, electricity, and material goods, avoid cutting down trees, stopping to pollute the environment in a way or the other.
Friends! Let’s not deprive our grandchildren from the fun of having pet animals and eating fruits, vegetables we eat. Let’s not make them mug a running-for-pages list of extinct species for their 5th standard social examinations. Let us at least take the smallest step we can to conserve the biodiversity.