Taken for granted?

Until a few years ago, the serenity of Machhapuchhre in Pokhara, my native city, used to be natural therapy for me when I used to look out of the bus window while returning from Kathmandu. It used to shine like a diamond. But these days, it is slowly turning into rocky snowless black mountains.

As an agriculturist, suggesting farmers that they treat the rust when it is seen in plants is part of my profession. But I wonder whether I have a solution to this growing problem faced by Machhapuchhre, the crown jewel of Pokhara.

When my father used to show me the mountain range from our house in Pokhara, he would describe it as “white gold”, and that would bring a smile on my face. How am I going to describe this mountain range, which now is turning into a huge black stone, to my children?

But this is not a problem of my native city only; I see degradation and deterioration of nature everywhere these days.

My parents are based in Kathmandu for their professional obligations. Whenever I visit Kathmandu, the first thing that welcomes me is polluted air. Every breath I take makes me feel that I am cutting short my life.

Trees are disappearing, and we hardly get to hear birds chirping. When I see animals on the roads and residential areas, I see helplessness in their eyes – no food and no shelter.

We are losing fresh water sources; and remaining water bodies are polluted. The air we breathe is full of dust and harmful matters. The forest covers that would provide with oxygen are depleting. There is deterioration all around.

We spend so much time and energy to keep our homes clean but why are we polluting the Earth which is not only home to us human beings but also to so many other lives?”

Last month I got a chance to interact with farmers during one of my field visits. They had very legitimate concerns that crop diseases were being resistant and pests were being more invasive.

We have long been talking about development but we are not paying enough attention to the fact that we also have to strike a fine balance to save our planet Earth.

If we continue to take Mother Earth for granted, we will soon be left nowhere. Our desires and ambitions are putting so much of pressure on the Earth that it will not be able to sustain someday. We must work to save the planet before it’s too late.