Despite the fact that different priorities are set for developed and developing nations, a prime concern is environment protection. Mass awareness is regarded as one of the important measurement tools and “Environmental Education” became a topic of global significance with a focus on the next generation. The method of imparting education varies from nation to nation and for a country like India, it further differs from state to state.
In the age of Information, lifestyles have changed. Children are more attracted towards modern means of technology. No doubt, this technology has many advantages on the knowledge dissemination among children but simultaneously it also has many disadvantages. Better to say that exposure to nature and outdoor activities are hacked by this modern means of technology. The impact is the distraction of sentiments among children for Mother Nature and attraction for physical world.
The pressure of present society setup for children to perform well in formal education has further resulted in deterioration in gaining practical knowledge as the studies are more or less focused on books. Society is now becoming consumerist, with social standing equated with the physical assets the person owes.
There is urgent need of reviving age old learning practices as evident in almost all the cultures on the globe such as the eco-centric approach of Indian Culture based on the principle of “Prakruti Purush” (Man-Nature interrelation) and the concept of “Aranya Samskruti” (Forest Culture). Currently this is only possible when elderly members of the family pass on the folklores, eco-centric traditions and rituals to their children.
For parents and the elderly, there should be more nature-related programmes, events and promotional offers. Such programmes and offers would not only attract these people but also touch their inner consciousness and their duty for Mother Nature. It is evident in today’s world that most of people live tense lives and need moments of relaxation. Relevant organisations in this field should take advantage of this and introduce specific service packages for nature and outdoor activities with reasonable and attractive offers.
Policy reforms need to be incorporated at administrative or government level and there is requirement of an umbrella nature and outdoors policy at global and national level with the flexibility for local needs. The important aspect which needs to be emphasised is the respect and encouragement to the traditional and age old conservative approach. These are passed from generation to generation but need immediate attention and recognition. The incorporation of eco-centric and ethical approach of the local culture would bring a person to their traditional and cultural roots resulting in an increased respect of Mother Nature.
By Satya Prakash Mehra
Conservation Biologist cum Social Activist