As I stood in my front yard one evening, leaning against the metal gate and sipping my cup of desi elaichi chaai, I saw my neighbour’s 4-year-old kid Pintu coming over to me and leaning on the other side of the gate. Even though we were 26 years apart, I loved hanging out with Pintu. He was the most friendly and curious little human of that age I knew.
He gave a look that seemed to ask, “What’s up?!” and I looked back and replied with a raised brow, “the usual, man”.
Pintu took out a chewing gum from his pocket, unwrapped it, popped the gum in his mouth, and did what any kid his age would carelessly do. He chucked the wrapper on the ground and didn’t bother.
I asked him why he threw the wrapper on the ground like that, and he replied: “It’s just one wrapper. No big deal.”
To this, I replied explaining a greater picture that Pintu wasn’t aware of. “Pintu, this one tiny plastic wrapper that you throw carelessly today will not decompose for, say, 4 million years; it will remain just like that in the ground. Now, just imagine, if there were 1 million Pintus and each threw a wrapper like you did – 1 million wrappers like this. Now think, how much of the earth’s surface will remain covered in plastic! The Earth’s surface will not sustain well in rain and the mud will erode, causing possible landslides. The trees will not grow on surfaces like these, so the carbon levels will go up, leading to global warming, earthquakes, cyclones, floods, etc.
How will you survive, Pintu?”
Pintu stared at me in shock. He quickly picked the wrapper he had thrown earlier and put it in his pocket.
World Calamity Control Day (UN) or UN International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction
This day is commemorated every year on the second Wednesday of October to create awareness about calamities and promote effective work towards reducing the risk of disasters. In this regard, the United Nations has been working towards binding the countries of the world together for the cause of making the Earth a place for our future generations to live in. Let us try to become sensitive of the cause as much as possible and make the Earth a worthy home for humankind, one step at a time.