Sense of belonging to the community and environment

The lush green forest, enchanting natural landscape, blooming bright and light color beautiful flowers always mesmerize our mind body and soul. After exhausted in daily hustle, the continuous annoying sound of vehicles, pollution and dust when we enter in a natural green environment and breathe the scent of the cool fresh air, instantaneously all our pain, agony and sufferings have been disappeared from life. Glistening morning sunlight, twinkling dew drops on a green leaf, fragrance of morning glory, light breeze, sweet chirping and tweeting sound of birds have always added freshness to our life and energies our mind. But in today’s life how many of us really be able to enjoy and amaze the splendid beauty of nature’s creation. With good education and jobs, our standard of life have been improved, lifestyle has been drastically changed with the rising of consumerism which resulted in increased pollution and environmental degradation. We create big high rise buildings by removing all forest, trees, plants and we are so engrossed and busy in our life that we have no time to look back the green nature. Even no time to plant and grow trees and flowers in our own habitat.

If I go 10-15 years back to my own Jorhat town, I realize the changes. When we were small, our neighborhood was filled with every essence of the green atmosphere. We all had a big backyard and front yard with tempting fruits on the trees, a variety of flowers in the garden and lived considerably in a happy pleasant atmosphere.

Gradually with changing time and standard of living,  we hardly pay attention towards environmental putrefaction. As a consequence,  we have been accustomed to live with all sorts of pollution, the filthy and stinking smell of drains and grabbing major diseases.

I have been living in Australia since past one and half years and certain matter really strikes my mind to think deeply. Comparatively, everyone is having a good living standard here and Australian Govt. has provided lots of benefit to needy and poor people. Mostly it has become possible because of being developed and less populous nation. People of this country are a quite concern about environmental sustainability and contributed significantly. I have never witnessed any garbage heaps pile up across the road, street or any other places. The dustbins are well placed in the public places and also three different wheeled dustbins are allotted to each household of the locality for dumping general waste, recycling waste and green waste. Every week city council authority collects these bins in their allotted time and day. If we introduce and place this kind of covered bins in public areas in Assam, it will be really helpful for us. Instantaneously I got excited with the mere idea only. But…are we as a member of general public, ready to hold the responsibility or just be happy by pointing fingers at non-doing of government?

When I came here last year March, near our home a few houses were constructed. What really attracted my eyes were that simultaneously they were constructing the houses and growing plants on the front and back side of the houses. After few months, by the time, houses got ready, the trees, plants had already grown beautifully and adorned the atmosphere. This is how people in Australia applies real meaning to the coexistence of nature and development in practicality.

Every neighborhood is filled with, community park, garden, enough trees, and plants. People take well care of public gardens, plants. The community development has given utmost importance here. It’s true that a nation’s development depends on  the  development of a community. Every resident of a locality works towards the development of a community and Govt. also contributed immensely to this community sector.

For every locality, there is a community garden which is developed and managed by local residents. Each garden is filled with fresh vegetables, leafy vegetables, fruits and beautiful flowers. It is indeed an overwhelming experience for me as I have never come across such type of community garden in Assam or Delhi (my previous residence). Near our home, we also have a community garden and I always feel good whenever I have been there. The garden authority put up a big sign board with a request to everyone to take an equal share of the vegetables. People work together in the garden in their free time and grow all varieties of seasonal vegetables and flowers. Every fortnightly they invite experts in this field to deliver a speech and educating people about gardening, using fertilizers, pesticides etc. There is no fence or lock. Anyone can get their veggies or fruits when needed but people also don’t forget to pour water and take care of these gardens. The great civic sense of the community members amaze me when I see, people only picks veggies or fruits, what is absolutely required and always try to leave enough for others to pick.

There are many benefits of having a community garden in an area. Increasingly it adds beauty to the community area. It is a social activity where people come together with a common purpose regardless of their backgrounds (age, class, race, culture). It helps to build community belonging sense. Individual and families have access to fresh, nutritious food which supports nutritional health. Community garden improves an urban environment. By growing plants, trees, vegetables, it provides better habitat for urban wildlife and contribution towards improving the natural environment. These type of gardens are used for community education such as waste minimization, waste recycling, composting etc. The Community garden is recognized by the many police departments here as an effective crime prevention strategy.

If we all work together and take the issue of environmental degradation seriously and grow enough trees, plants, develop such community garden, parks  like developed nation  I am sure our own state would also progress.

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