Concerns over New Delhi's environment

Added On June 15, 2016

Environment issues are one of the primary causes of health issues and long-term livelihood impact for India.
Take a look at how the country faces the challenges.
In India, sanitation workers are the unsung heroes of the country's quest for clean environment.
On the roads of Indian capital New Delhi, millions of them can be seen in action with their brooms, when the rest of the public are cosily sipping their morning cup of tea.
The sweepers, rag pickers do not have their name mention in any of the brochures of World Environment Day celebrations. But they are an important link to the country' drive for cleaner air.
"I think that is very important and we need to actually recognize their effort in the whole World Environment Day. So here it is difficult for us as a small organization to address them directly. But I think the government needs to play a larger role in that. For example, we need to be more sensitive towards their needs."
According to environment assessment studies of World Bank experts, between 1995 and 2010, India has made one of the fastest progress in the world, in addressing its environmental issues and improving its environmental quality.
Still, India has a long way to go to reach environmental quality similar to those enjoyed in developed economies.
SOUNDBITE: HASEEN, College student
"We all keep our houses very clean. But no one thinks of keeping the streets clean. And then somewhere down the line, this becomes our habit. Neither our parents nor the school teaches us the importance of keeping the outside environment, the public spaces clean. Environmental awareness has to be instilled since childhood. At such an age, one becomes set in their habits and its difficult to change. But still after attending this workshop, I will try to not throw garbage here and there and tell my friends to do the same."
SOUNDBITE: VARSHA, College student
"Its actually not just about the country. Its about one's consciousness. And that has to be tackled via the basic education system in what a parent instills in a child. Because its a very common example that when you see a car on the road, the parent himself just throws out the lays packet . The child will obviously copy that. So a parent is the 1st example that the child actually sees. And it is important for the society as a whole not just the country or a community that a person in their own consciousness develops that kind of a thinking that they have to maintain a clean environment because it has some positive externalities at the end of the day."
The Indian government had launched the Clean India Programme in 2014 to make Indian cities cleaner, more eco-friendly and habitable.
The thrust of the programme was on the voluntary participating of civil society in keeping their surroundings clean.
Any initiative to save and preserve environment can be successful only as long as local communities participate innovatively in the exercise.
The Clean India drive paid massive dividends in New Delhi. Public dustbins are installed on a large scale and people's sensitivity towards not throwing things on roads rose dramatically. 
"The World Environment Day is celebrated every year with a number of  campaigns and awareness drives on conserving the flora, fauna and other natural resources and on keeping the environment clean in general. But the larger question to be asked is how sensitive are people becoming towards maintaining the environment. In a country like India, the government is  taking number of steps to maintain and clean the environment. But are citizens really involved in keeping their surroundings clean is the question to be asked."