The waters of Narsampathi Lake have fallen prey to plastic pollution over the last couple of years. The lake lies within the vicinity of Nagaraja Puram, a village located within 20 km radius of the city. This not only makes the environment look so unsightly but it also destroys pond-life. The pollution has led to lesser fish in the lake and this leads up to the pond being an unsuitable habitat for birds. Polluted waters also prove unsuitable for other water based animals/reptiles.
A series of efforts were taken up by the government and local NGOs to clean up and revive the lake. But due to sheer negligence, dumping of waste persisted in this lake and ended up returning it to its unsightly state. A long term solution cannot be put in place when it comes to maintaining the lake if the people around the place fail to realise the importance of not polluting it. Preaching about the importance of preserving ecosystems or biodiversity loss doesn’t really help because these issues hardly matter to those who are concerned about making their ends meet. The environment is the last thing these people want to be concerned about.
Poverty and environmental degradation are closely related. So then is it impossible to fix this situation. No. People around the lake are dependent on this water body for many things. It is a source of water for their daily chores and provides for a fishing ground. Given that there are direct benefits that these draw from the lake highlighting them can make the message more powerful and heard. Emphasis has to be placed on the fact that a healthy system ensures their personal well being. Besides this incentives can be provided if needed.
For centuries man has considered himself different from nature. For as long as this dualism exists he will continue to miss out on probable solutions to solve environmental concerns. We need to identify a middle ground and rethink our place in nature. The water in a lake must remain clean if it is to provide a healthy environment for the organisms (animals and plants) living in it but also for human beings whose lives are largely supported by the ecosystem.
Written and Edited by: Trrishala Kumaraswamy
Volunteer for India and her Environment with E.F.I, Jai Hind