E-books, E-commerce, E-governance, E-banking, E-everything.
Does this E stand for Electronic? Or Environmental? To head towards a paperless society is a progressive move. Sticking to printed books just for the sake of the “scent of the paper” is mere romanticism and is in fact resistance to change. It aches the heart of yours truly to write the aforementioned sentence in the capacity of an avid reader. But, I would rather “type” sitting under a tree than write on a piece of paper that has corroded due to polluted air.
However, that is just one of the E`s that we should pay our allegiance to, on this World Environment Day. The 2nd one is Entrepreneurship. There are hardly adequate number of people in India who can pronounce it, let alone practise it. But, again, how does it matter if they are not able to get the diction right? If they possess the gifts of innovation, leadership and risk-taking, why should they be ostracized? Just because they can`t roll their tongues properly? Should the Gujrati ladies in Mumbai be considered any less enterprising than the hundreds of cool young engineers whom they feed through their `dabbas’ daily?
I was amazed to know that these ladies are so well-versed with the technical details of the application of solar and wind energy, that they would extensively use them to cook food in Gujrat. They might not be able to explain the procedure through technical terms but they can effectively communicate it to their fellow Gujratis who can easily take advantage of these everlasting resources, present in abundance in their rich state. When I tried to test the depth of their knowledge by having a word with Hetal, an eleven-year old, she told me that they use “aahloomoonium” foil as reflectors. “El-yoo-me-nee-um”, I tried to teach her. And she conveniently rejected it with a “soo?”. However, her sweet dabbas did provide the much-needed relief to my bitter rolling tongues. The food surprisingly tasted the same. But it felt more delicious, given that it smelled of a greener tomorrow.
Yes, it does poke the Grammar Nazi inside me, but I would prefer to avoid those asphyxiating concentration chamber-like kitchens instead. So, I scream, “Hail Hetal”!
The final `E’ is Equity. Not undermining the role of the shareholders` equity, I am, however, referring to the other equity- justice and impartiality. Harmony and brotherhood are the daughters of equity. For there to be a cooperative approach towards dealing with the ecological hazards, each citizen needs to inculcate among himself the noble virtue of equity – to treat all his fellowmen with impartial eyes, irrespective of the so-called standards of association set by the evil `elite’. If a guy is a Chetan Bhagat fan or guesses that Paulo Coelho is the name of some constellation – he is not out of your league. You might just need him when your PC is out of order or when you can`t file your income tax returns yourself. So, consider everyone equal for you may not live up to the standards of the people that you look up to, either.
These three E`s – Electronic, Entrepreneurship and Equity – are all that India needs to combat the environmental degradation. A very recent idea that has incorporated all these three E`s in its execution and intent is that of Tripda. It`s an online initiative that facilitates car pooling in the city of Delhi, offered to the classes and masses alike. Many start ups have followed suit, including the one in Jaipur – “Chaloge Kya”. As the name suggests, it`s an app created by young entrepreneurs, in collaboration with the local auto-wallahs, in order to eliminate the haggling and enhance the access of auto rickshaws to the remotest of areas.
While we all love the English language, we should get rid of the elitist side-effects that stick to our subconscious in the form of its residue, for this residue might be the most detrimental pollutant on the face of this Earth.