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Sunday, 11 December 2016

No More A Shareholder of Destruction & Pollution!

Sadashay was a young budding billionaire in the city. Though he was born in a small village he was grown up and patronized by his educated and rich uncle in the city after the death of his parents in an accident. One day his daughter Kutuhula expressed her wish to visit the village about which he used to praise a lot. So Sadashay started his journey along with his daughter and wife, Bhagya. He got off from his vehicle when Sahanpur was still half a kilometre away. He preferred to walk so that his wife and daughter could enjoy and appreciate the pristine scenery of his countryside.

The enthusiastic trio was on its walk. Contrarily the ever-luxuriant passage was no more green to give a cool touch to the dry eyes from the ever smoking city. The vicinity was merely a scrub jungle dotted with a few aged sick trees and a plenty of thorny bushes. The expected cool morning breeze from the nearby hillocks was also no more there to refresh the ever-congested breathing systems. The coo-coo of cuckoos, caw-caw of crows,  chirping of sparrows and screamings of eagles were hardly listened on the outskirts. It looked as if the bountiful healthy feast for the birds was no more available.

Sadashay was aghast and tight-lipped at the inquisitive looks of Kutuhula. The past glory of the rural peace and serenity  was no more there to show his companions. No sooner had he waken up from the shock than he found the once beautifully sparkling and pleasantly gurgling Meena river was standstill, choked with black, thick and immovable gel of dirty sledge. The same fate with respect to the Bagula tank, which was once a busy fish market for foreign cranes. The greenish water body couldn't be a spot for fishing and swimming by the village kids anymore!

One thing which consoled Sadashay was that the village was no more a bunch of modest huts with smell of damp wood, but a colony of concrete stuff. Village roads were no more due to earthy cool but with hot tarmac dule. The village was practically  barren without green grass around. Tall towering trees were no more there as roosts for brooding birds. The morning fanfare of diligent farmers was also hardly to be seen. Sadashay was at utter confusion. He met a number of elderly people and his own old friends. He came to know that a quarter of the houses were vacant. Some wealthy farmers had moved away to other safer villages or urban places. Remaining families were also planning to follow the same. 

The once habitable village had turned into a deadly graveyard not only for human beings but also for other flora and fauna. Pet animals and wild birds were  dying after eating crabs, frogs and fishes from the river and the tank. Buffaloes, cows, goats and sheep were dying after grazing the grass. Crop lands were nearly dead as they were being drenched with irrigated river or tank water sourced from toxic effluents. Carcinogenic chemicals were ruling all three spheres of life - air, water and soil. Villagers had to breathe foul air to experience breathlessness, headaches, numbness and nausea. Drinking water had turned distasteful and undrinkable but without a choice. The village had become a living museum of all kinds of cancer. A number of children, women and farmers had already died. Many were still suffering to redie.

What was the reason?  Sadashay looked around. The village was arched in the south-west with a cluster of monstrous factories. Tall chimneys were standing beside them high to puff out thick smoke all through the air. A number of effluent pipes were bowing down into the water bodies to vomit unwanted chemicals. Kutuhula enquired, "Whose factories were there, dad?" Sadashay was mum. He felt as if his flesh had turned into stone. But the mind was still active. "Certainly those factories belonged to my own share-holding company," his conscience said. "Let's go home," Bhagya said.

A lot of thought was given. The progressive family finally decided to cancel their shares in the company which was running the killer factories at the neck of the desperate villagers. No more they wanted to be the shareholders of pollution. The family decided to spend the amount for rejuvenating  the last glory of the village, for the  treatment and rehabilitation of the villagers. At last Sahanpur had become the adopted village of Sadashay and his family. The family's only one dream was to turn the village into an Adarsh Gram or a full fledged sustainable Model Village with zero destruction and pollution, but with multiple occupations.

He could motivate and convince local politicians, local government officials and non-government organizations to vacate the cancerous monsters out of the scene. Sadashay knew that most of the forests had been destroyed for agriculture only. But farming in turn depends upon forests! So he gave much emphasis on tree planting works. He did intensive agroforestry as a call for rains, roosting for predator birds and source of green leaf manure. Social forestry also started for fulfilling different needs of village people. And windbreaks were planted across the wind blowing directions at regular intervals to protect crops from lodging and consequent yield losses.

He educated farmers to introduce eco-friendly organic farming. He persuaded them to say goodbye to conventional homozygous monocropping and to adapt heterozygous multiple cropping. He inspired them a lot to reintroduce native breeds of cattle as the best complement to mixed farming. The poisonous era of chemical fertilizers and pesticides nearly ended. Some changes were also brought. Only low level lights were allowed in the garden village to avoid night long light pollution and also to attract nocturnal creatures. Vehicles were allowed only up to half a kilometre distance from the main village to avoid noise pollution and consequent scaring away of birds and animals. 

The other change what he could bring was giving a new life to cottage industry. Non-biodegradable products from fossil fuels like plastics and synthetics were gradually  replaced with biodegradable products from living pools like clay, bamboo, cotton, sisal hemp, sunhemp, and jute fibres. The village is no more polluted and the great Sadashay is no more the shareholder of destruction snd pollution,  but an ever shining star at the helm of the model village re-evolution.

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