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We study a subject, environmental science in our middle and high schools, which most students don’t really like. I was thinking about what we used to study in school and the debates and discussions we used to have, and a word came to my mind: sustainable development. What is it, actually? Sustainable development  can be defined as a mode of human development and progression of the society that uses resources in such a way that the present human needs as well as the future demands of the society are met. It was coined by the bruntland commission, which defined it as ‘development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs’.

Definition toh padh lia, but whose responsibility is it to maintain sustainable development in the world? Some people might say it’s the government’s responsibility to formulate rules that instruct the citizens of a country to use natural resources in a judicious manner. Others might counter question whether all the citizens of that particular country would follow the rules! People don’t follow general instructions given to them, let alone following rules regarding sustainable development. Hence, it is our collective responsibility to inculcate in ourselves the values and moral ethics that guide us to judiciously use the resources mother earth has given us.

We cannot expect the government to keep on bugging us, asking us to follow the norms of the society. We definitely cannot expect Prime minister Dr.Manmohan Singh to roam about in Connaught place and ask people out there to stop wasting resources. We, as inhabitants of this earth should teach ourselves to maintain our surroundings in a healthy condition. On Diwali, the smoke that had enveloped the city was disturbing! We burst crackers incessantly, not realising that our actions are harming so many people, trees, animals and all living creatures that share this living place with us. Bursting crackers is not wrong, it’s just that too much of anything is bad! Why not use that money to feed someone, or to give it to someone who actually needs it? My father buys laddoos on every festival and distributes them among the beggars who sit in front of the ram mandir in our hometown. Seeing a smile on their faces is what a festival means for him, and for me. I don’t know what they think when they receive those sweets, but I feel happy when I see them smiling. Also,  there is this vendor who sits near the Faculty of Arts and sells bags. He told me that he had been sitting all day there, and had earned just 10 rupees. And that had been happening every day for a long time. He earned 10 rupees per day which he used to buy ‘bajra’ for the birds that came there. Will he not be blessed by the almighty? And he also said that he could very well sit at home and rest, but who would feed the birds then? If an old person who sells bags can act so selfless and responsible, why can’t we? Why misuse and overuse everything that mother earth has given us, and harm the place we call our home?

So let’s act a little responsible, and help in making a better place to live, for us and for the future generations.

As a step in this direction, I am happy to say that I am a part of AGLASEM EDUCON 2013. Educon will provide a platform for all the creative minds of the country to share their ideas, present their business plans and discuss the educational problems of our country. The effort of educon would be to bring together powerful dignitaries and common people and initiate an era in the development of education in India. Come, be a part of it.

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The author is currently studying economics from Daulat Ram College, Delhi University. She loves reading books and playing her guitar whenever she finds time. A vocalist for Alahyaa, she has completed her Visharad in music from Prayag Sangeet Samiti, Allahabad.