Environmental Pollution in India
Pollution is a broad concept. In general sense, the word pollution refers to environmental pollution where harmful objects are pushed into our environment, making it unsuitable for use. Such harmful objects are technically known as pollutants. These pollutants can enter into nature through a number of routes, which include:
- Water bodies (live ponds, rivers, lakes, seas, oceans etc.)
When the pollutants make their way into the nature, the very fabric of nature changes. For example, when chemicals are dumped into rivers and lakes, the quality of water changes. This change in quality of water, impacts the biodiversity of aquatic or marine world. When the biodiversity changes, nature loses her balance. Many marine and aquatic life forms come to an end. This in turn puts pressure on human population because humans are, to a great extent, dependent on marine and aquatic ecosystems for survival. This is an indirect effect. There is a direct effect too! The populated water becomes unusable for drinking and daily use.
So, the repercussions of pollution or, better said, environmental pollution are far reaching and long lasting. Problem is that we humans (who are nothing more than pure animals with highest intelligence level) either think that we are over and above nature or we simply are so dumb that we don’t see our mistakes.
It is this inherent nature of humans of exploring, controlling and ruling that makes them blind. It is true that the lust for domination has led to development of stupendous civilizations, magnificent discoveries and breathtaking technological advances. But, it is also true that this lust for domination has pushed Mother Earth to boundaries of no revival. That day isn’t far when this Earth will hit back. Rob us of her wealth of water, air and food. She will end the tyrannical rule of humans that we are so much proud of.
Types of Pollution
Let us take a quick look at the different types of pollution in a tabular format:
|Pollution Name||Examples||What Happens|
|Air Pollution||Exhaust fumes, gas from burning fossil fuels, radiation spills, harmful gassing from plastic production, pain production etc.||Air is infused with molecules of various chemicals that are harmful for health of not only humans but other life forms.|
|Water Pollution||Sewage dumping in water bodies, radiation spills and nuclear waste dumping in water bodies, industrial waste dumping in water, biohazard waste dumping in water bodies, oil spills etc.||Water bodies get contaminated, making water unusable for human use. Equilibrium of aquatic and marine ecosystems is disturbed, marine life in endangered and much more.|
|Noise Pollution||Noise produced by vehicles, industries, demolition and construction, public meetings etc.||Excessive noise can lead to imbalances in human psyche and lead to problems like insomnia, stress, depression, hearing loss etc. Same affect can take place on animals and birds. For example, sounds like sonars used by ships and submarines can disrupt the navigation system of dolphins and whales and lead to beaching and death.|
|Soil Pollution||Radiation spills, littering on roads and fields, oil spills, pesticides and chemicals usage on lands, debris dumping from unsustainable logging and mining operations etc.||Land fertility is destroyed, natural habitat of many animals is destroyed, soil composition changes which makes farming unsuitable and more…|
|Visual Pollution||Natural views blocked by skyscrapers, carvings on landscapes, rocks and trees, billboards, litter, exposed junkyards etc.||It damages the beauty of landscapes and makes the surroundings look ugly. Ugly surroundings can have a massive impact on human psyche and can lead to depressions and stress.|
|Thermal Pollution||Any human activity that increases the temperature. For example, vehicles and industries emit greenhouse gases that increase the temperature of the atmosphere by trapping infrared radiations from sun within earth’s atmosphere.||Consequences are disastrous because this rising temperature can lead to mass extinction, melting of polar ice, warmer lakes and seas that can disturb the marine and aquatic ecosystems and more…|
|Light Pollution||Uncovered street lights, vehicle lights and almost every manmade light.||Though important, excessive light blocks visibility of night sky. Too much light can also cause psychological problems and lead to problems like insomnia and stress. It is particularly bad for diurnal animals that need a proper dark environment for falling asleep. Birds are the most affected.|
What are the effects of pollution?
The effects of pollution are really far reaching that what we thing. Though we have mentioned a few of them in the table above, let us learn a few more:
- Because of water and land pollution, harmful chemicals have entered our food chain. From agricultural produce to marine food sources, everything is plagued by chemicals that are not at all invited in our body. The consequences are that today the world is plagued by a number of diseases that are a direct result of pollution. These diseases are not only difficult to cure but the problem is that they are often genetic – transferred down from generation to generation.
- Air pollution is terrible too. It causes a wide range of respiratory problems. The air pollutants have many carcinogenic compounds which can cause cancer. These pollutants also lead to cosmetic problems like early aging, dull skin, rough hair and more. While impacts on humans are well known, we are yet to understand the full scale of impact on the animal kingdom as a whole.
- Talk of noise pollution and it is another terrible thing. Extreme noise is not good for growth and development of newborns. It is not good for elder people who are plagued with age related problems. Noise pollution adds to their problems. For normal adults, it is a cause of stress, insomnia and a host of other health problems.
- Talk thermal pollution and we are inviting mass extinction. Have you ever wondered what will happen when the temperature of our Earth’s atmosphere increases by several degrees? Not only will we perish because of increased heat but there will a double whammy of melting polar ice and increasing sea levels. Water will take over land spaces and if not all, at least most of terrestrial life forms will perish.
What are the solutions?
Most important is infusing some sense into humans. If we talk of solutions, then yes, going for eco-friendly technology is important. We need to reduce our dependence on those products that lead to formation of gases and smoke. We need to take initiatives to reduce global temperature. We have to depend on renewable sources of energy like solar and wind energy instead of depending on fossil fuels like oil, coal and natural gas. The problem is that the world is so materialistic and capitalistic by nature that we will keep overlooking these problems until it is too late.