“My grandfather saw it in the shape of a river, my father saw it in the shape of a well, I saw it as a tap, my daughter saw it in the shape of a bottle and I wonder in what shape will my grandson see it,” said senior journalist Samudragupta Kashyap while moderating a panel discussion on Water and Climate Change at the Green Hub Festival held in Tezpur today.
The Green Hub festival tries to bring diverse voices, issues and films from the Northeast. Films by acclaimed filmmakers as well as Green Hub Fellows and other students showcase the stunning natural and cultural biodiversity of this region and the challenges of conservation. The issues are reflected upon in greater depth during panel discussions.
The discussion has eminent people from different organisations voicing their opinion. Dr Arup Kumar Mishra, Director, ASTEC agrees that in the name of development, men have been forced to trespass into ecology and environment.
Partha J Das of Aaranyak felt that it is important to talk to dying and drying springs. He felt that little things like fish, fishermen and boats that are an integral part of Assamese society are facing a threat. “Our rivers are subjected to unsustainable change which has a social impact,” he said. There is a drinking water crisis that is looming large. Kashyap added that different rivers are known for different kinds of fish. “All that has changed now,” he added.
Rituraj Phukan of Green Guard Nature Organisation said that his organisation is trying to create a global blue revolution. Filmmaker Sanjay Barnela said that while water is about scarcity, it is also about mismanagement.
Lobsang Gyatso, Save Mon Region Federation said that development should go with protection of the environment. “We are inter-dependent on each other for our survival. It is our core responsibility to save the environment,” he said.
The panelists felt that everyone should be part of the solution. There are many examples where advocacy has been successful. Community can help devise ways to survive. It is only when communities work together with the government can they come out successfully. It is also time to incorporate these issues in the curriculum of the school children.