Man and Nature
Nature refers to the physical world including plants, land, soil, animals and other elements of earth. There is deep relation between Man and Nature.
There is a long association of man and trees, dependent on each other, striking a balance in the eco-system. Both human beings and trees have been bound by a bond of association since ancient times. It is but common knowledge that the carbon-di-oxide released by men are used by trees while the oxygen released by trees are used by men.
Trees supply food, furniture, and shelter to men while the latter manure trees, water them and transplant them from place to place. Man cannot live without the corn, fruit, flowers, vegetables and leaves supplied by plants and trees.
On the other hand, trees cannot survive in the face of weeds, parasites, and drought from which man alone can save them. This shows that both men and trees are dependent on each other.
We all know that a harmonious relation among trees, animals, and people is responsible for a balanced eco-system.
Massive schemes of deforestation telling on the economic and environmental health of many nations. This happy ecological balance received a severe jolt when men everywhere planed for rapid industrialization. They thought that this would cure them of all their ills. So at first they did not mind at all when deforestation programs started on a large scale. Virgin forests were destroyed to make room for new industries and new accommodation for large number of industrial workers.
For the requirement of industries, trees were felled recklessly, rivers were dammed, and fertile agricultural lands were transformed into plots for homes and offices.
Men have now realized what harm they caused to the mother nature through deforestation. Trees have vanished making the land arid. Cultivation has fallen making food prices to go up. Fuels also are not available at ease. Some rare types of birds and animals have become extinct. Rainfall has become irregular or less. Temperature has shot up.
Dams have submerged arable lands and populated villages making the plight of people more acute. Industrial population has not only poisoned the atmosphere but also made river-water unfit for drinking and bathing purposes. Indiscriminate destruction of natural objects have caused the price of almost all types of things to go up, thereby increasing the economic hardship of the people. Felling of trees is also responsible for landslides, desertification, change of weather, and scanty fall of rain.
Hence new programmes of afforestation has been evolved. Many countries have now realized the evil effects of destruction of trees. So, governments everywhere are engaged in new programs of afforestation. It is expected that if they cannot make good the loss, they will at least check further deterioration.
The Indian Context: India has also woken up to the losses caused by deforestation. Landslide, desertification, submergence of arable land and villages, rise of temperature, and fall of rainfall are all visible in India. These have caused the launching of people’s movements like chipko (‘Save the tree’ movement) and Narmada Bachao Andolan (‘Save Narmada’ movement). The government is now spending more on afforestation programs. Some non-governmental organizations are also keen on protecting trees and increasing their number to offset the evil effects visible on the eco-system.