In the nearly 40 years history of Earth Day occurrences that Jamie mentions, this years April 22nd was perhaps the most interesting and most meaningful. For India, it was the beginning of a new movement.
And it was begun by the generation going by, that not only accepted that it over-consumed without realizing the consequences, but also passed on the leadership to the generation that will inherit the Planet from them. And all this happened at the residence of the first Prime Minister of India, who not only loved children but also worked to ensure they would live in a developed nation with a very promising future.
Development Alternatives, an organization that has existed for over two decades and came about to create large scale livelihoods while searching alternate sustainable models for development has been running a successful Clean India campaign across India. On Earth Day, they called around 350 school children to the first PM’s residence, at a stone’s throw from the Parliament of India – to transfer the leadership of this campaign to children and to the youth.
In launching the Green Generation Youth, the organisation not only committed itself to working for Green Jobs and a greener economy but asked the youth present in the auditorium to take the initiative by using all the creativity and all the energy for ensuring the same. Members from the organisation also discussed the ‘global meltdown’ with the youth and the abundant ‘green’ opportunities this has created.
The meltdown – a consequence of the not paying heed to the warning given by Mahatma Gandhi almost a decade ago–“The world has enough for everybody’s needs but not enough for everybody’s greed”–might just be our last opportunity to save humankind. We should therefore sieze it and use it to not just solve the economic crisis but also the climate crisis. It is time to lay down the foundation stone and start building a global Green Economy.
It is time to get our freedom from the emissions and the commissions. And it is no doubt the youth who will have to take the initiative lest the youth may not be able to ‘live’ to see the consequences of its own inactions. It is, as Gandhi once said, a do or die situation.