Oppose blind growth to save nature: Expert

By: Bhagyashree Kashyap

NAGPUR: The rapidly growing society has a humongous challenge of maintaining a balance between commercialist and ecological civilization for which systematic efforts should be made to use natural resources judiciously, said , a renowned economist and former member of State Planning Commission, on Thursday.

Delivering a lecture on ?Moral direction of societal development? at and RK Patil commemorative function organized at Sarvoday Ashram, Desarda said, ?It was a sad state of affairs that we are treating nature like a pile of resources in this century when we should be working towards creating a more sustainable environment fit for all creatures to live in.?

Advocate Ashutosh Dharmadhikari, trustee of the ashram and social activist Leela Chitale were present at the programme.

Desarda said, ?We are exploiting nature to our benefit. We have the technology which can be used to make advancements in renewable resources like solar, wind and biofuels. Instead, we are pitting it against countries to establish our power. This consumerist attitude should stop,? he said.

Desarda spoke passionately about the consumerist society, lack of ethical values in people and plight of the earth. ?We say technological advancement equals human race?s development, but we are turning a blind eye towards the fact that such a growth was becoming destructive for nature. Humans are making earth anthropocentric when we should be searching for ways to coexist.?

?We are increasingly becoming a capitalist and socialist race when we should be making major paradigm shift to change our lifestyle. We mistake growth for development which, in reality, is an antithesis,? Desarda said.

He termed the recent shooting of T1 tigress Avni as an extremely sad incident. ?We encroached on the tigress?s territory and created a conflict between man and animal. When Avni retaliated, we silenced her. Humans have no right to take away their home in the name of development. Rather, we should find ways to accommodate all species. It is an opposition to blind growth, not blind opposition to growth.?

He gave examples of Mahatma Gandhi?s reformative ?Make in India? campaign and said, ?He neither opposed development nor did he fall prey to commercialization. His principles stand tall today which we must bear in mind.?

?We should educate communities, create awareness about fast depletion of resources. Imbibing ethical value of empathy towards nature can be a start in creating a more inclusive environment,? reasoned the economist.

Chitale spoke about Gandhi?s core values and belief and said, ?This ashram stands at the centre of belief of the Mahatma and, as a society, we need to instill these values in us today more than any other time.?
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