We have to take care of the environment to prevent health hazards: Sreekumara Menon

Sreekumara Menon

Hope all of you are safe during this period of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, thanks to the virus, one of the many things that can be noticed is that after about a decade the sound of the chirping birds can be heard clearly, the sky is crystal blue, sometimes ornamented with silver clouds. The wind seems lighter and the whispering of the swaying leaves can be heard. This is the impact that 25 days of lock-down has shown.

The empty roads are the new elephant corridors, the decluttered sky is again owned by the birds and not the airplanes, the seas have marine creatures swimming around with no fear of being caught. Moving in deeper into the environmental and ecological impacts the lock-down has granted, NASA satellite images show that there was a decrease in the Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) level in the atmosphere and is due to the economic slowdown which the world is facing.

The canals of Venice in Italy have now become crystal clear due to a sudden halt in tourism. The Dhauladhar mountain range, part of the Himalayan range in Himachal Pradesh, became visible in Jalandhar after years as pollution has become less. One must remember that climate change, global warming and pollution are taking away more lives and will continue to do so, more than any pandemic outbreak.

Says David Raju, Naturalist Manager at Red Earth Resort, Taboda, Maharastra, “I was driving by the nearby town, it’s usually a busy road but that day, the road was empty and I saw four troops of langurs relaxing in the middle of the road. Locals have also sighted bears on the road.” Commenting on how the lock-down has affected the economic front, he mentions, “The lock-down’s impact on tourism depends upon where you are. It has taken a toll on our economy, especially on the daily wagers.”

The impact of the lock-down has led to a reduction in tourism, which has been a factor on the environmental health. Further talking about the environmental front, David states, “It is impossible to notice the changes which the lock-down has imposed in the insect world, but a generalised view can be seen on the bigger animals, however from just a month of lock-down, not many drastic changes can be observed. Moreover, there is the occurrence of quick and frequent rainfall but it may be due to the climatic changes.

One must regard the environment by being environmentally responsible. Eco-friendly practices can be followed to safeguard our nature, since a healthy environment will foresee lesser pandemic outbreaks.

(The author is the MD of Chalukya Grace Tours Pvt Ltd., based in Trivandrum)