June 5th was celebrated as World Environment Day and from a previous post on similar 'events' my sentiments are clearly established. This year for me, there was a lot of excitement around the day. Excitement that made me believe; because sometimes even in the most dire times, another world is possible.
On the eve of World Environment day, one of the things that happened was a large 80-foot banner that was hung off the Mumbai-Thane Bridge which was targetted at bringing attention to the effects of climate change on the Indian monsoon. This action was part of Greenpeace's efforts to bring climate change firmly into the spotlight of national politics and debate. The monsoon which is the lifeline of so many people in India cannot be wagered in the face of development that can be potentially unsustainable. All of the devastating effects of failed monsoons including loss of revenue has been published as a report entitled 'Monsoon Wager' by Greenpeace India.
The second thing that happened which was much quieter but nonetheless important was the stand that the Environmental Minster Mr. Jairam Ramesh took on GM-food crops. The GM-battle within India has been fraught with complications, set-backs and frustrations. The lack of labelling laws, prevalence of mis-information and regulation will eventually lead to a potential mine-field if precautionary methods are not put in place now. Victories are rare and government officials taking a precautionary stand, are even rarer.
Since then obviously, the excitement has died down a little bit and life has gone back to being existence for most part. But what I'd like to take away from productive days like this one, is that even in the most challenging times, change can be demanded and even for the most cynical of us: hope floats.