It was an important day in my newly started schedule of life; just two days before I have joined a new assignment which had given me the opportunity to be a part of the state’s WED celebration. The theme as you know is THINK EAT SAVE. That was interesting because right from my childhood I have learnt only not to waste food. It was my parents, and my grand mom who always said that Laxmi (Hindu Goddess of Wealth) lies in food so we should not disgrace her by wasting food. Sometimes, when we had left a considerable quantity of food on the plate because it didn’t tasted that good as always, mom used to scold us by saying that there were many people around who are lying hungry. Gradually, when we grew up and experienced lives out of our mom-shielded homes, we have started realizing the facts of hunger, starvation and inequality in food distribution. Again, it was Rathaya Yella sir, who in our college days, always told us about the pain of a farmer in producing a single grain of rice; which was an another teaching on reducing food wastage! With all these background and hailing from a lower middle class family, the theme obviously was a matter of interest.
What I am going to write here is not particularly about the celebration of world environment day, but about how we feel about the theme. With deep pain, I have noticed that some people along with one of our state ministry of Assam celebrated it in some posh locations, far away from people, far away from the needy. Those celebrations, ornamented with high quality food that too in abundant quantity is nothing but a mockery to the theme itself. At the time when such celebrations were laden with intellectual lectures on saving food and reducing hunger, there may have been lots of hungry people outside searching for food! So, what is the use of such lectures which does not have any action in reality? May be that is the case with many such events across the world.
What I am trying to say is that in most of the issues, we just concentrate on speaking, not on action. On issues particularly like this, action should be more than the words. Our parents may not have any recognition for being intellectuals, but what they have taught us in our childhood is relevant not only to the home but to the world as well. Now when I look back to my parent’s advice, I find that there may not be goddess Laxmi in the food as appeared to a science believer like me, but those were the keys for a better future. But as we have ignored those golden sayings, sufferings have begun. Another interesting fact about those old goodies was that my grand parents and their fore parents believed in keeping food for the birds and animals, for the hungry who may come in suddenly; a thought that is of high environmental importance now a days. So that is the fact, what we celebrate and focus as environmental concern and environmental activism, was there in our parents and their fore fathers in a much more inherent way; but they never boasted about it, nor there was any public recognition!
So, before making artificial and so called intellectuality laden celebration on food conservation, we must stick to the basics of our lives; reducing food wastage at home and workplace, saving food for ourselves and for the others lying hungry in and around us and making an honest and sincere effort on our part. Unless we do that, nothing is going to save our food, wherever we celebrate, whatever we celebrate and whoever we heard of!