Climate change is real. Environmental changes are real. Just stop for a moment and think about the last time you have seen such a long rain drought in winter. A year, two or five……? As far as myself is concerned, I can’t recall such an event in recent past. It used to rain and winter in such days used to be freezing cold. Not so long ago, I remember in 2012, When we were notified by our school to start wearing winter uniform. By November, it had already rained. By December, cold would freeze our flesh and bones. But no, not anymore.
So, what’s happening? The answer is simple. We are not doing good to our environment. We are putting everything, well, say every-bad-thing we can, into the ground, air and water that constitute our surrounding environment. From a piece of non-recyclable plastic to tons of industrial waste, from a puff of smoking cigarette to massive hazardous gases, we are doing everything possible to make this planet unlivable. This change in environment changes climate which in turn, changes the weather, we complain about all the time.
How does it affect us? I can but will not give examples of increased global temperatures and reports of glaciers melting. Let’s see its outcomes on a very basic individual level. Diseases are spreading. Dry cough is common. Dry skin is a widely spread dermatologic issue. Inhalation of hazardous air is causing internal body complications. Our immune systems have been so weakened that we cannot even bear a simple headache. Every day, when I pass by local hospitals to get to university, a huge mass of people is going in and out of the hospitals. Talk to some of them and they will tell you stories of fog, smoke, smog and dirt causing serious health issues. Farmers in villages who are heavily dependent on rain water to cultivate are worried and honestly, devastated by the absence of rains. Cropping season is almost over. I have recently been to my village and had discussions with many farmers. They fear that their families will suffer and God forbid, may face hunger. Because employment in rural areas is mainly in the agriculture sector, these people doesn’t have any other means of earning livelihood. Not only them but local markets and economy will suffer from this as well. Remember, these are only few of the many examples.
So, how do we fight it? Again, it’s very simple. All of us need to make ourselves and others aware of these anomalies. We need to start caring about our environment. If not the whole country or city, then small town or a village, or at least our living and working places. We need to stop putting waste into our surroundings. we need to start thinking about recyclable consumption. Most importantly, it’s not a single person’s job. A person or two can sure make a difference but we need more than that. It’s our collective responsibility. We can prevent these drastic changes by acting together. The sooner we realize it the better off we will be.
On January 5th, 2017, under the flag of Social Development Network, we launched the “Garbage Clean-Up to Environmental Care” campaign. This campaign was an initiative to not only aware but practically involve public in collecting garbage. About 70 volunteers participated in this drive, all of them being young students of Islamia College Peshawar. This event was very interactive because not only the volunteers collected waste but also had fruitful discussions with local people about environmental care. Through this campaign, the volunteers cleaned-up waste from the University Campus Peshawar including Islamia College, Khyber Medical College, University of Engineering and Technology and the University of Peshawar. The event ended with a peaceful walk through the university campus back to Islamia College Peshawar.