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NCERT Solutions for Class 11 English Hornbill Prose Chapter 5:The Ailing Planet: the Green Movement's Role

This short story was originally published as an article by Nani Palkhiwala in the newspaper 'The Indian Express' on 23rd November 1994. The article raises awareness about the harm humanity has caused to the Earth's environment, for example, deforestation.

In the article, the writer talks about the origin of the Green Revolution in 1972. In 1987, the concept of "Sustainable Development" was popularised by the World Commission. A zoo in Lusaka, Zambia, placed a mirror in a cage that reflects the viewer's imagination to raise awareness. The cage had a notice attached which read, "The world's most dangerous animal." which would indirectly indicate the human viewer as the "dangerous animal" who destroys the environment. Writer Nani Palkhiwala notes that the first international commission to deal with ecology and environment issues was the Brandt Commission. The commission's first report raised the question of what kind of a poor environment will be left for future generations. Palkhiwala has referred to Lester R. Brown's book, which talks about the 4 principal biological systems of Earth: fisheries, forests, grasslands, and croplands. The book states that humans get most of the raw material from these four systems.

Humans have exploited them to the point of being unsustainable, which causes decreased productivity. To combat such exploitation of natural resources and systems, Palkhiwala notes in her article that Article 48A of the Indian Constitution provides that "the State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and safeguard the country's forests and wildlife". With growing awareness, the Estimates Committee of the Indian Parliament reported the rapid rate of deforestation in India. Palkhiwala goes over the concerns regarding the issue in her article and gives an insight into what will the Earth resemble if proper measures are not adopted to combat the burning issue. As a solution to the issue, the writer lists that development is the best solution since it can deal with the issue's primary cause- overpopulation.


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