Going green helps

The evidence is conclusive. Politicians who take care of the environment end up taking care of the people and their vote bank as well

 
Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

What do Digvijay Singh, Chandrababu Naidu and Pawan Kumar Chamling have in common? A simple answer would be that they are all chief ministers. But they have more in common than just that. Some time back, in February to be precise, we put all three on the cover of Down To Earth . These three, we felt, were a new breed of Indian politicians who were concerned about the environment. They also felt that taking care of the environment would help them improve the lot of their people and earn them good dividend in the form of votes.

Down To Earth arrived at these names after an extensive survey of environmentalists, readers of the magazine and organisations working in several states. By then Digvijay Singh had already proved that he could beat the anti-incumbency factor. A team of reporters who went to Madhya Pradesh found that this was due to the impact of Digvijay's grassroots programmes and his passing on power to the people to take care of their local resources. In some cases, the state government even bypassed the panchayats and went directly with funds to more transparent people's institutions like g ram sabhas .

Today, Chamling, who was ranked as the greenest chief minister ( cm) in India by the respondents to the survey, and Naidu, who was ranked very high by the readers of the magazine, have also vindicated themselves. Naidu won even though certain poll pundits had forecast that he may not be able to do so. Chamling, on the other hand, has almost swept the polls. Out of 32 members in the legislative assembly he romped home with 24. An impressive victory indeed.

Naidu has initiated two major programmes -- the introduction of Clean and Green Campaign and the setting up of the Van Samrakshan Samitis for the protection of forests. The Clean and Green Campaign is mainly being carried out in cities while the Samitis have proved successful in managing forest resources in the districts of Anantpur, Adilabad and Mahboobnagar of Andhra Pradesh. Chamling, for his part, has sought the panchayats' help to implement social forestry schemes. Besides, he has shown a keeness to tap renewable energy sources.

This is a message for other politicians in India as well. Take care of the environment and the environment will take care of the people who, in turn, will take care of you. It is a well-known fact that if the environment is degraded, the people in the area will be poor and conditions of life, hard. But if the environment is lush and green, the people will be prosperous, farming and animal care will thrive and the local community will earn and live well. It was only after the confirmation from scientists at the geological Survey of India ( gsi) that the finding was first published in Current Science , a science journal.

These dinosaurs who roamed the area around 178 million years ago are believed to be plant-eaters and lived in the forests among medium-sized trees. "The head and teeth revealed that they were herbivorous," he says. The unearthed bone pieces contained more than twelve spindled shaped ones with length and diameter ranging from 10-15 cm and 9-10 cm respectively.

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