Read this article to learn about Non-Government Organisation (NGO):- 1. Meaning of Non-Government Organisation 2. Initiatives taken by NGO’s 3. Roles.
Meaning of Non-Government Organisation (NGO):
NGO’s, the non-profit organisations, initiate environment awareness among people and act as catalyst for environmental protection.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests extends support to NGO activities and conducts many of its own programmes through them.
NGO’s Act as eyes and ears of the government. Out of 300 NGO’s, 130 are engaged in environmental awareness and education, 50 in natural conservation, 50 in pollution control, 45 in afforestation and social forestry, 15 in rural development and 10 in eco-development. Most of them carry out academically oriented activities. In critical situations, they also launch environmental movements.
Initiatives taken by NGO’s:
1. Environmental education and awareness among people.
2. Environmental (air, water, soil, noise) pollution control.
3. Protection of forest wealth.
4. Afforestation and social forestry.
5. Floristic and formal education.
6. Wild life conservation.
7. Recycling and waste utilisation.
8. Rural development and eco development.
9. Population stabilisation and family planning.
10. Development of non-polluting renewable energy sources.
11. Emphasising the use of non-conventional, pollution free sources of energy (solar, wind, tidal, biogas, gobar gas, ocean energy etc.) instead of thermal, hydel and nuclear energy.
12. Conservation of biological diversity.
13. Healthy crop land and grass land.
14. Encouraging the use of biofertilizers.
15. Developing new dimensions to national security
16. Sustainable development.
Roles of Ngo’s:
Roles in Some Organisations:
1. Kalpavriksh (KV):
This organisation started in 1979 as a movement opposed to the destruction of Delhi’s green areas. KV is mainly conducting research on environmental subjects, such as an impact assessment study of the Narmada Valley Project, pesticide use in India, air pollution in Delhi and mining activities. KV is functioning as a resource group for NCERT and other agencies on environment education.
2. Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad:
KSSP is an important national institution with a membership of over 25,000 with around 900 units spread over the State of Kerala. The activities of the Parishad encompass eco-development, creating an awareness on water and energy conservation, encouraging the use of non-conventional sources such as smokeless chulhas.
3. World Wide Fund for Nature, India:
WWF has approximately 200 volunteer associates and 10,000 subscriber supporters. The major activities of this organisation are conservation of the country’s natural heritage, research, field projects, education and training.
4. Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS):
BNHS has contributed significantly in saving the valuable tropical forests of Silent Valley in Kerala.
NGO’s listed below, also play pivotal role in environment protection:
a. Indian Environmental Association, Delhi (1980).
b. Indian Society for Naturalist (INSONA) Gujarat (1975).
c. Society for Clean Environment (SOCLEEN) Maharashtra.
d. Himalayan Research and Development Group (HRDG) Nainital (1982).
e. People Association for Himalayan Area Research (PAHAR), Nainital (1982).
f. Uttarakhand Research Institute, U.P (1975).
g. Society for Himalayan Environmental Rehabilitation and People Action, (SHERPA) (1984).
Roles of NGO’s in Important Movements:
1. Chipko Movement (Wilderness Ethic) U.P. 1973:
Chipko (to hug or stick to) movement was launched in 1973 by Chandi Prasad Bhatt and Sunder Lai Bahuguna against large scale felling of trees by timber contractors in the Uttarakhand hills (U.P). The starting point was Chamoli district of Garhwal region in Uttarakhand. Women took active part in this campaign. They embraced trees and compelled the timber contractors to leave.
This novel campaign of saving hill forests and greenery soon spread all along the hill region (Salkane forest in Sirsi district) and to Karnataka in 1983 where it was named Appiko. Chipko movement crossed geographical boundaries and observed as Chipko Day at New York, USA on April 29, 1983. Children assembled and hugged a big tree in Union Square Park.
2. Silent Valley Movement:
Silent valley occupies an area of 8950 hectares at an altitude of 3000 feet in Palaghat district, Kerala. It is surrounded by Nilgiri, Attapadi and pristine forests. The pristine tropical rain forest in the Western Ghats is a precious reservoir of genetic diversity from where life-saving drugs and other valuable materials can be extracted in near future.
The Kerala State Government decided to construct a dam in the Silent Valley for the generation of 120 mega-watt of electricity in 1976 at a cost of Rs. 25 crore (revised in 1984 to Rs. 51 crore). The proposed dam would store 270 million cubic feet water in a reservoir spreading over 700 hectares.
The Kerala based NGO’s, Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parisad (KSSP) launched the Silent Valley Movement to save it from dam construction. Soon the apex policy making bodies NCEPC, DOEn and IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) supported the protection of Silent Valley.
Finally, the Prime Minister (Indira Gandhi) in 1983 accepted the recommendations of top scientists and declared the Silent Valley as the Biosphere Reserve by cancelling the hydel project proposal of State government. Thus NGO’s succeeded in protecting an important biosphere reserve.
3. Narmada Dam:
Narmada is the largest west flowing river arising from the Amar Kantaka Plateau in Shahdol district of M.P and travels 1300 km draining 9.88 million hectares between Vindhya and Satpura ranges. The M.P Government undertook a gigantic plan-Narmada Basin Development Programme which involves construction of 31 large dams for Narmada, 450 medium and thousands minor projects at a cost of Rs. 25,000 crores.
The benefits were projected—several million hectares of land irrigated, water supply to thousands of industries and several thousand mega-watt of power etc. But according to NGO, massive damming of Narmada river could be a blue print for disaster. NGO’s led by the environmentalist, Megha Patekar organised sustained movement to stall the projects of Sardar Sarovar and Narmada Sagar dams and partly succeeded.