By: Satyanand Bharti
This morning appeared no different than the previous one, and yet one could well ascribe a silver lining to it – of hope and aspirations. As if a well-meaning breather in our otherwise fleeting lifespan, the New Year has to begin on a positive note even if it means breaking a thousand resolutions. Be it an individual, institution, governments or even a community, a New Year ensures that they get a change for some introspection to evaluate their existence every 365 days. The last one year for Himachal Pradesh was a bit different with a new government taking over and people expecting the ‘change they wanted’. The government, of course, has come up with claims of having delivered more than what it promised for the year.
Though it hardly matters as the final verdict comes from the electorate every five years, the Yew Year appears to have come with great expectations and also ideas that could change the destiny of the state. An advertisement that appeared in a couple of newspapers today suggested just that, with the Himachal Pradesh government seriously taking up the campaign to invite ‘generous donations for the Himachal Pradesh Environment Fund’.
It is really praiseworthy that the government seriously thinks the idea can be a success that people who hesitate in paying their taxes would voluntarily donate for the cause. Political considerations might have prevented the government from making environment cess mandatory, but even if there was no other option to take the idea forward, it undoubtedly is ‘the best’ way out, not just to generate money for environment conservation in the state but also to spread the message of social responsiveness. The general public needs to be told that the government can only act as a facilitator and they themselves will have to be the change they want in the society.
The campaign now needs to be made a mass movement, a good beginning already having been made on the very first day of the year, not restricting it to official regimen alone. The state residents now needs to rise up to the occasion and share the concern rather than just blame ‘outsiders’ for the mess around. And, the effectiveness of the campaign should be measured in terms of inner realization and not the amount collected at the end of the year. Great movements can never be quantified, and neither would this one ever be evaluated for its content, but for the intent.