By Shewa Ram Suthar

We all need to act positively to make our planet a more sustainable and healthy place to live. It is indeed heartening that we are trying our bit in improving our environment for a better earth. 

The event was arranged around the global theme of “Restore Our Earth”. Climate change, deforestation, and soil erosion are a few of the main threats to our home earth. AWARE representatives, children from the community schools, local social activists, and the community members took an active part in it. The event aimed at promoting the message of saving the earth, following environment-friendly practices. 

April 22nd, is globally celebrated as Earth day. “Let’s join hands to save mother Nature” This was the slogan under which the Erath Day awareness-raising celebration took place. The event was organized by AWARE in partnership with TDH.  The event was held at Village Garario, District Tharparkar.  

The AWARE Team Representative Mr. Murtaza Jokhio said; “Earth is our home where we all live. We must act responsibly to save our homes. It is imperative to keep our environment clean and healthy if we want to save our future. AWARE while engaging the communities have planted trees, together we have resolved the issues of garbage disposal and together we are making efforts in saving water and recycling/reusing wastewater. We must continue this practice and save resources from depletion.”

A local community activist Mr. Sanwan lauded the efforts made by AWARE. He said: “This is indeed a blessing that now with the kind support of AWARE, we are engaged in environment-friendly activities.  We planted trees, developed kitchen gardens and we now know so many ways to store and use water efficiently. It is indeed heartening that we are trying our bit in improving our environment. The credit for this goes to AWARE for making us realize the importance of saving mother earth!”

The event also highlighted the negative impact of drought situations and other hazards on women as the inequalities they suffer are further exacerbated. Natural disasters put tremendous pressure on family incomes, making it very difficult for women to manage family resources. This increases the incidents of domestic violence, mental illness, and even suicides.

Ms. Meena Kumari a woman focal person from the community addressed the issue of natural disasters and the plight of women. She said: “Women face many challenges when natural disasters strike us. We all must rise up to the challenge. Women work inside their homes and outside too, to contribute to the family income. Yet, when we face food insecurity, a woman is subjected to domestic violence and in-human treatment. AWARE’s strategy helps us all in coping with food insecurity and securing women’s true potential. In order to cope with natural disasters, women must take part in pickle making, making small savings at home, engage in poultry, and develop kitchen gardens that may supplement our families when we face natural disasters”.

The event included a display of environment-friendly items by the school children. Items such as terra cotta pottery, clay-made bird feeders, and reusable bags made of cloth were displayed. The message was also put forward by drawings and paintings made by the school children. Songs and rendering narrations of famous poets by community members and local social activists was also a part of the event.

Documentary on proper garbage disposal and tree plantation were also shown to the participants. The community and the local social activists appreciated the effort of AWARE and its volunteers. The community has shown enthusiasm in carrying across the message. The event ended on a positive note. The AWARE representative Ms. Kiran Hayat in her concluding remarks said: “We have made tremendous efforts in making our planet earth a better place to live. Now we will move ahead to make smart choices in our everyday life to make the earth a healthier home for us all. Let us all resolve to keep on bringing small changes starting from our own self.”

The organizers i.e. the AWARE team, the volunteers, and the community members feel that their efforts will be futile if there is no follow-up to this initiative. In order to continue with their efforts, the organizers are planning to establish an “Earth Cell”. The event ended with all the participants, holding play cards made a rally that took a round of the village to forward this message to the entire community.