The so called natural disasters are not necessarily ‘natural’ for they are more often than not, the result of unregulated and haphazard human activity that has relentlessly disregarded and trespassed the laws of nature. The disastrous consequences of all such activity is for all to see: unprecedented floods, landslides, desertification of once upon a time luscious and fertile lands, increased wave activities, frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones, climate change, etc.
The latest study by ISRO’s Space Application Centre showing that Goa has lost a large chunk of its coastline to erosion should serve as a wake-up call to get our act together and do more than what we are doing in the present to save our coastline, including our world-renowned beaches from further deterioration. The urbanisation of our shoreline of rare beauty, caused by the construction boom that goes on at a frenetic speed, bypassing the regulatory norms in existence, and the ten-fold surge in density of population along the coastal region has put undue pressure on the ecologically fragile and environmentally sensitive stretch of the Goa coastline, resulting in changes that are already being noticed in its shrinking natural topography and contours. The repercussions of such disturbances are being felt not only by the coastal inhabitants that mainly comprises of a sizeable fishing community, but by all communities, irrespective of caste, creed, faith, gender or colour, interdependent and connected to each other by family bond of love that is defined in our country by the concept of Vasudhaiva Kuttumbakam.
God, in His infinite wisdom, has created everything and has endowed in His creation an inbuilt order and “grammar” that needs to be respected and safeguarded at all costs. In being loyal to God’s plan in creation, we ensure our sustainability and well-being of all. Let us learn to respect the laws of nature imprinted by our creator God to whom the world and all that is in it belongs, and join hands with one another to make this world a better place to live in for the present and future generations.
In the Goan context, this tiny coastal state on the west bank of India ensconced between the wooded Western Ghats and the azure Arabian Sea is a tourist’s paradise that has so much to offer to enjoy a perfect holiday, from bounteous natural beauty to relaxed life-style, from unmatched hospitality to succulent cuisine and more. However this rich bio-diversity hotspot, supported by an eco-system of intricate nature, is susceptible to rising sea levels and change in climatic patterns. Besides, with the objective of bolstering tourism, the enormity of the scale of human activity witnessed in the past few decades along Goa’s coastline, with little or no regard to its carrying capacity, have put spokes in the wheels of containment measures, further aggravating the insalubrious sinking scenario. In such a situation, only a serious and sustained willpower coupled with remedial and exigent measures on the ground by those responsible to safeguard the state’s natural resources, including our hills, rivers, estuarines, water-bodies, khazan lands, beaches, etc will determine whether Goa moves ahead on the path of self-protection or self-destruction.