How true these words sound in the present context. There is so much pollution all around us today that normal breathing in itself is the greatest risk to our lives. Pollution has affected our lives so adversely that because of this, millions of people die annually. The way the environment is being polluted today stands testimony to the fact that we are irresponsible occupants of this Earth and by polluting the air; we are meticulously working towards our own destruction. According to the World Health Organisation, about 2.8 million people each year die due to indoor pollution (over 500,000 occur in China alone). These data should act as an eye-opener for all of us. Smoke emitting from industries, factories, vehicles and even cigarettes is a major source of air pollution. It is due to air pollution that a number of diseases have surfaced. There are several respiratory diseases, which affect us adversely. Cigarette smoking is not injurious to the health of only those who smoke cigarettes but also to those who come in contact with the smoke emitted from the cigarettes. What is worse is that most of us understand the ill-effects of pollution, yet we are so indifferent towards our own health that we do not avoid the avoidable. Stoves, LPG and other non-conventional sources of energy should be used for cooking and the bursting of firecrackers should be reduced.
Therefore, if we prevent air pollution, we not only keep ourselves healthy but also our historical monuments. Another major source of pollution today is water pollution. Water pollution is the contamination of water by sewage, toxic chemicals, metals, oils, or other substances. Diseases like diarrhoea and dysentery are the ill-effects of polluted water. The wastes that are thrown in the rivers and lakes by us mainly pollute water. It is due to this that the water supplied to us in our homes is impure and consumption of which leads to man) dreaded diseases. The biomedical waste from hospitals is not processed properly and is thrown in nearby rivers. The waste materials from factories and industries are also disposed of in the same manner. Therefore, it leads: to high levels of water pollution. Not only this, people throw dry flower used for puja and other religious functions in rivers due to which water gets badly contaminated and unfit for use. In fact, due to high levels of water pollution, marine animals die an untimely death and are on the verge of extinction today. In a healthy water system, a cycle of natural processed turns wastes into useful or harmless substances. The cycle begins
when organisms called aerobic bacteria use the oxygen dissolved in water to digest wastes.
This digestion process releases nitrates, phosphates an other nutrients. Algae and aquatic green plants absorb these nutrients. Zooplanktons eat the algae, and fish eat the zooplankton. The fish, in turn, may be eaten by larger fish. These larger animals come in contact with other animals and in turn the process of biological contamination cycle continues. Another form of pollution that threatens our peace today is sound pollution. It is so irksome when music is played at high volumes in parties and vehicles. Today, the levels of sound pollution are so high that the Supreme Court had to intervene and pass orders recently to impose a restriction on the playing of bands and loud music between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. The vehemence of music disturbs students, patients, old and other people we want some rest after a long day’s work. The sound of the bawling horns is a headache in itself. Everybody is in a hurry and therefore, the use of horns is made without much though Horns disrupt peace to the extent that these can be heard even in the ‘no-horn’ zones. Although noise does not poll the air, water, or land, but it can cause discomfort and hearing loss human beings and other animals. Soil pollution is also an important mode of pollution.
When the ear thin layer of healthy, productive soil is destroyed where food is grown it is called soil erosion. Healthy soil depends on bacteria, fungi, and small animals to break down wastes in the soil and release nutrients. These nutrients help plants grow. Fertilisers and pesticides can limit the ability of soil organisms to process wastes. As a result, farmers who oven fertilizers and pesticides can destroy their soil’s productivity and are causing many diseases to the people. Not only this, even irrigation in dry areas without proper drainage system can lead to water logging in the fields. it can lead to famines because soil pollution will lead to a poor quality of soil, which in turn will lead to poor crops. Therefore, soil pollution is extremely dangerous. It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to control the rising levels of any form of pollution. We must get our vehicles checked regularly and if the smoke emitting from them is higher than the normal level, it should be repaired. Use of firecrackers should be minimized and cigarette smoking should be given up.
We must take a vow never to throw any waste materials in the rivers or lakes because that water comes back to us as drinking water. We must take an initiative to prevent others also from doing so. Hospitals must collect their biomedical wastes and dispose of them in a proper manner. Some should be done with the waste materials from factories and industries. Recycling should be made a practice and children should be taught how to recycle simple things in school. This practice will make them to recycle things rather than throw them like garbage. The volume of our music systems should be kept low so that others are not disturbed. Even in parties these should be stopped after some time to avoid noise pollution and inconvenience to others. Thus, only when we decide to do our duty to keep our dear planet clean, we can succeed in controlling pollution. Only then we can make this world’s better place to live for you and for me’.