Return to the Jungles is a call to the people of India to return to the lap of nature where civilizations started from. We have long forgotten what It is to have a dash of oxygen fill up your lungs, ask from a Delhiite and you understand this. The urban masses have moved so far from nature that they seldom realise what they have been missing. A trip or two to a nature reserve will never be enough. So long has been the disconnect from that which is intrinsic and latent to every human being. Instead they have lived and breathed every second of their lives in dirty, polluted cities surrounded by structures that leave no space for nature to prosper. And they have grown up to believe this is what is required for happy lives and healthy societies. Singapore has a fake garden, at the centre of concrete jungle, that they proudly promote, closer home, Raipur has a safari park with enclosed animals’ sans their natural habitat whereas the pristine forests in the state lie disregarded. The examples are many.
At some stage of our lives; all of us started hearing about global warming, carbon footprint, ecology destruction, habitat destruction, extinction of species, melting of glaciers, melting of the polar ice caps and deforestation, these remain topics of discussion over a cup of coffee and end with it. We have either not been exposed to the magnificence of nature or not been sensitized to its absolute centricity in our lives. Life has become a journey for materialistic milestones – houses, corporations and cars are all that matters. That more and more land should be freed from its delightful natural covers – mountains, hills, forests, freshwater bodies – to make space for global corporations to grow so that they can enhance shareholder value and make the rich richer. There is scant regard for the damage being done to Earth and for the legacy being left behind for the generations to come.
Probably, only a handful of people know that India has been the only home in Earth for all the 4 big cats – Tiger, Lion, Leopard and Cheetah. Alas! The Cheetah was lost in mid – 1850s and the magnificent Asiatic Lion has been relegated to one corner of this big country. The Royal Bengal Tiger is down to a couple of thousands while the gorgeous Leopard is treated almost like vermin. The Tiger and the Leopard are regularly snared, poisoned, run down, poached, electrocuted across India. That is how well we respect the natural bounty that we were blessed with. Only a handful of us know that once upon a time; we were home to the Asiatic Cheetah. These things remind us all over again just how disconnected people, in general, are from nature.
There is a lot that is being said and written about the rapid decay of nature all around us. Nature is making its displeasure clear to us with vengeance. Still the urge to make resurrection of nature a priority is hardly visible right from the industry captains to politicians to the common public. Have you ever wondered, why the air that you breathe and the water that you drink is never a point of debate during the parliamentary elections? Because the citizens don’t demand it! All that matters are promises of concretisations of lands for faster roads, colleges, industries, etc. The point of awakening is still a distant reality. During the times of Jim Corbett and Kenneth Anderson; a stroll in the forest was just a few kilometres away from the city. The cover of green was thick all around and the air wonderfully refreshing. Today, the cover of the jungle has receded by thousands of miles from city limits. In the process many major and minor species have gone into history and natural spots have been replaced with lakes frothing with pollutants, ugly human constructions and toxic air. Those that commit crimes against nature have little to fear. Forest fires have become more and more common. The destruction of natural resources at the hands of humans don’t even find a mention in mainstream media till news and images go viral on social media, remember Arey or the Amazon wildfire? Such is the extent of degradation of the human mind that it has almost completely forgotten to respect and value that which is essential for life.
We are in the midst of natural disasters in many shapes and forms, but still can we do something to make our contribution to the process of resurrection of nature? Or will we wait for the government to do it all? Unfortunately, there is little time left and too much to do. I don’t know how but I won’t wait any further to take the next steps and ask and encourage one and all to join me in this journey.
So how do we Return to the Jungles? Answer the questions below:
- Do you own a piece of land?
- How many houses do you need for yourself or for posterity?
- Can you make a commitment to turn your lands into an oasis of green?
- Do you own barren land?
- Can you develop it into a forest?
- Can you hand over your barren land to a responsible agency for development of a forest?
- Do you understand the importance of making your contribution to rebuilding this planet?
- Do you understand that the planet is in a severe problem and that climate change is manifesting in dangerous ways all around us?
- Do you want to help India reduce its carbon footprint by developing more and more forests?
- Do you want to volunteer for conservation projects?
- Do you want to help fund conservation projects starting with a minimum individual contribution of Rs.2,000 (Two Thousand Only)?
- If you are a conservation or forestry expert; are you willing to guide people to develop “Sacred Groves”? Please see the section on “Sacred Grove” for details.
Sarosh Lodhi is a well respected, known self-taught environment conscious and committed photographer, educator, and influencer. Sarosh has co-founded CLaW (Conservation Lenses and Wildlife), a group of wildlife enthusiasts, having a member base of nearly 200,000 members. The group is largely popular for its conservation efforts and wildlife photography. Sarosh is a Nikon India Influencer and the India Brand Ambassador for Wacom which is a California based creative technology company famous for its Wacom Tablet amongst other products.