Environmental justice is realizing that everything and everyone will be screwed if we do not get our act together on how we treat mother earth as soon as possible.

All of us are in this together regardless of our job, societal status, caste, the car we drive or the house we live in.

A little history:

Environmental justice was a movement started in the 80s by a group of African – American people in the US when they realized that their neighborhood is being ruined in the name of “developing humankind”. A business was trying to dump toxic waste next to their homes, which angered the residents of that region.

The fight:

Anyone who does anything to hurt nature can be sued in India including the Government.

Yet, why is India so polluted?

The reason is YOU. Have you ever dropped a candy wrapper in a park? Have you ever let your neighbor dump their waste on the street? Have you ever let your mom dump the waste beside your house? Have you ever watched a Government bus emitting  dark smoke pass by? Do you use a smoke-puffing vehicle when you could use a bike or even walk? Do you not carpool? Have you ever used disposable plastic?

If you have done any of this, then you might as well kill another Elephant like the one in Kerala (Firecracker fruit incident). Hurting one part of nature has wider ecological consequences.

Further, for those who claim to be “environmentally conscious” but still let other people get away with the acts stated above, make yourselves useful by doing as much as you can to prevent this.

There are only 6000 cases filed against environmental injustice in India. Is the rest of our nation blind to this? Recently, when we tried to file an Environmental case as an NGO, the police did not seem too willing to pay attention to the problem. Apparently, it does not come under their jurisdiction. When we took this issue to the Environmental Department, they did not even respond.

Would the Government look into this? Would you, as a responsible citizen, sue that inconsiderate neighbor?

Laws protecting you during the fight:

Everything the planet has to offer becomes volatile or dangerous after a certain point. Too much sunshine is bad, too much oil is bad (apart from the “freedom invasion”, it actually has many environmental impacts), anything in excess or deficit is bad because humanity thrives on balance.

India has many environmental laws because of this movement. Some of them are below (use them wisely):

  1. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) Act of 2010 will help if you are fighting against someone contaminating the environment.
  2. The Air Act of 1981 will help if you want to stop someone from polluting the air.
  3. The Water Act of 1974 goes for preserving the water resources by preventing and controlling water pollution.
  4. The Environmental Protection Act of 1986 guides the Government itself during policy formation and project implementation. This act falls under the other two mentioned in points 2 & 3.
  5. Other than the above-stated acts, there are other regulations controlling the activities seen below
    • Waste management (Hazardous, biomedical, municipal waste, & batteries)
    • Wildlife protection
    • Forest conservation
    • Bio-diversity
    • Coastal regulations

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