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Issue 23
March , 2010
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Colour of the season:Green!

Suparna Dutta
Source: Toxic Alert, Date: March , 2010

It seems that the green conscience of India has not totally fallen asleep! It is indeed strange and uncharacteristic and a hopeful flash, at a time, when prime time television draws high TRPs from reality programmes that portray celebrity swyamvars!




I am referring to the NDTV-Toyota’s Greenathon in its second year that received overwhelming response from Bollywood stars, Chief Ministers from different states of India, corporates and “aam aadami” helping raise Rs. 3.92 crores and lighting up 157 villages across India. Chief Ministers across the country joined hands and pledged for a greener India. Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit urged the citizens to adopt a tree each while Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan pledged to plant 5 crore saplings in the state. As part of the state's massive afforestation programme, Orissa CM Naveen Patnaik pledged to cover an area of 1 million hectares with trees; whereas Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah vowed to restore the Dal Lake and Nagin Lake to their pristine glory. Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda vouched for solar power for a greener and cleaner future and Karnataka CM B S Yeddyurappa guaranteed sustainable development towards a greener and cleaner state. Others also did their bits. There were painters who created paintings on the green cause on the sets of Greenathon and auctioned off their creations , the proceeds for which will go to the green cause. Actor-model Milind Soman ran 100 kilometers and helped raise a whooping amount to light up villages. Bollywood “badshahs” adopted villages, as did corporates.




Those of us who did not run miles along with Milind or painted pictures or adopted villages or even called up to congratulate those who did the above, also did our bits. A housewife who did not switch on her favourite soap, a teenager who skipped MTV, an elderly gentleman who did not mind missing his Spiritual TV, an adolescent who did not mope because he could not surf between POGO and Cartoon Network and a Reality TV fanatic who decided to glue onto NDTV because he thought “this” was more real than his favourite Reality Show-all deserve our salutes. By choosing to watch the Greenathon they not only rendered a silent but resolute support but also went on to show that in the darkest chambers of our hearts we recognise crisis deftly. It has been once again proved that even in the face of corruption, shallowness, non-chalance, blissful ignorance and alleged collective dumbing down, Environment stands a chance. Perhaps it is because ,it is too important for us to be ignored.