Protecting environment is a huge challenge that the world faces. In India, it has assumed threatening proportions. India is also committed to this and being tried to do best. Though this a worldwide problem, strategies to deal with this situation varies from place to place.
Srinivasan Services Trust (SST- the social arm of TVS Motor Company) has been trying to make its small contribution towards this fight to prevent environmental degradation. It has also agreed that greater awareness should be created amongst all. We continue to do this in almost daily basis in our 5000 working villages. Our experience shows that in Rural India apart from lack of awareness, it is the poverty which forces the communities to prevent from adopting proactive steps to keep environment clean.
Our experience shows that if alternative source of income is created to people and there is financial security for families then chances of people damaging the natural resources become much less. People see the financial benefits for themselves by safeguarding the environment. Therefore strategy in SST has been to create alternative source of income for the families and simultaneously creating awareness about preserving clean environment. To cite an example of SST, we have been able to raise the minimum income of Rs.15, 000 per month for over 3.52 lakh families. With the financial security, people are more willing to prevent environmental degradation. This is borne out by the fact that 23.40 lakh trees planted in patta and private lands. Afforestation has been done in 1, 72,000 Ha. Solid and liquid waste management are in place in 3,51,980 households and 3,50,915 households respectively. Till date, we have been able to cover 54,846 Ha of land under drip irrigation by convincing farmers. This has resulted in huge savings of water and has helped 17,349 Ha of fallow land to be converted into good cultivable land.
Government’s support in implementing these schemes is invaluable. We at SST, feel that if communities, government resources and corporate get together, this could be dealt with expeditiously and effectively.