06 Jun 2021  |   06:01am IST

How green is my land. Or not: Warriors of the soil speak

As the world celebrates World Environment Day, environmental warriors in Goa have much to say about their battles to protect the environment in the state. Many of the young people involved in the fight to protect Mollem and other battles had much to say about their experiences. And true to what Goa’s most seasoned environmental warrior Claude Alvares said in another interview to the digital arm of Herald “young people are our greatest asset who are coming out on the streets and spending time on environmental issues”, Café speaks to the young and the young at heart green warriors
How green is my land. Or not: Warriors of the soil speak

Ajit John

Being on the ground fighting for the environment made me realise how much we all needed to come together and fight the battle. People still think it is a joke. Nobody seems to value land and is willing to sell it on payment of a crore or two. We can see the situation turning bad. Mother Nature has given us so much and it is now time for us to contribute time, seeds, saplings and education for the environment. This pandemic has made us realize that without oxygen we can die. Please don’t destroy nature.

- Cecille Rodrigues,

Environmental warrior

I was born in Mollem and grew up roaming in the thick forests grazing cattle during my childhood and then spending years in metro cities like Chennai, Bangalore for studies. Seeing man-made concrete jungles helped me realise the same thing was happening to my Mollem. It inspired me to raise my voice.

- Krishna Zore,

Environmental warrior

Well, it’s my father who inspired me to fight for the environment. He took up the job of making sure Siolim remains clean by organising many waste management talks and garbage collection drives. He has been telling me right from the start that you children have so much potential and fire within you that you have to take up the fight of saving this environment and preserving it for the future generations and he said to do it in your own way whether it is singing or art or dance.

- Zidane E. D’souza,

Environmental warrior

“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” - Robert Swann

The statement above has been my greatest inspiration to begin the journey to fight and save the environment. Working closely with intellectuals and nature lovers has added fuel to my spark which has turned into a fire of passion to continue fighting for the environment and to save my future.

- Neola S. Pereira,

Environmental warrior

When I got talking with one of my botany professors, Dr. Fr. Bolmax, told me about how Chicalim youth were raising their voice against some harmful projects in Goa which involved cutting thousands of trees, it really made me question myself, Why am I sitting quietly? If not me then who? That was the moment I decided to be a part to save our environment along with such dashing youths who all come as one for the greenery of Goa.

Today I realise how important is our environment to us, because in such a pandemic we have seen that money can’t buy enough oxygen, people are just losing their lives due to shortage of oxygen so we need our source of oxygen, our nature to support us I feel proud to stand for our environment n support sustainable development. ‘Either now or never’.

- Sabira Shaikh,

Environmental warrior

Witnessing mass deforestation on a large scale in the name of greed and power at a rapid rate leaves me heartbroken. By taking on the role of an environmental warrior, makes me feel very proud because it means that I am a voice to the voiceless. As we celebrated World Environment Day this year we have planted 50 saplings in the Aldona Constituency. I have always worked towards the betterment of my environment and I will continue to do so with utmost zeal and passion.

- Matheson Solomon Miranda,

Environmental warrior