Marching together to build a ‘New India’, a sustainable, healthy and clean India

The thumping victory of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the recent state assembly elections, especially the landslide win in Uttar Pradesh, will resonate in the chapters of Indian politics for a long time to come. The election results have been a resurgent moment for the BJP, especially for the political leadership of the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi. The victorious sweep has not only strengthened the hold of the party but has also fortified the strong leadership of Shri Narendra Modi, who has managed to mobilize and motivate the entire country unlike any political leader before.

With great power comes great responsibility. While addressing the masses after the election results at the BJP headquarter, the Prime Minister asserted upon inclusive governance, meeting the aspirations and expectations of the masses and most importantly, spoke about the emergence of a “New India”, where the focus has shifted to the middle-class and its aspirations. As part of this ‘New India’, I strongly believe that we must be more responsible and inclusive towards our approach of development. Following the principle of Mahatma Gandhi, the ethos of development must be holistic and sustainable. Our Prime Minister has stated on multiple occasions that development and environment can co-exist. I am glad that our leader has such a mindset towards building a sustainable environment, and eagerly hope to see our nation growing on this school of thought as well. As a developing nation and a fast growing economy, India must grow, but must also keep its environmental issues on priority, so that we are building a nation that is strong today and sustainable tomorrow.

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For someone who has deep faith in the Indian political system and parliamentary democracy, I believe that the country is at a point where strong leadership will take it to great heights. At this moment, I personally see a lot of hope in the current leadership to protect our environment. The world is at a brink where the environmental issues must be dealt with on priority. Every step we move towards development, we need to be mindful of our responsibility towards protecting our environment. India is a fast growing nation, and the cause of environment for us, thus becomes an even more important aspect in the trajectory of development. The resounding victory in UP has established the fact that the citizens of the state have high hopes from the elected party. The mandate given by the masses have high hopes for development. However, the government must ensure that this development is responsible and does not overlook UP’s environmental issues.

The current central government has taken many initiatives towards protecting the environment. The Ministry of Power has made commendable efforts towards encouraging renewable energy projects in the country, courtesy which, India is breaking new grounds in the renewable energy sector. The government has also been diligently working on the Clean Ganga and Swachh Bharat initiative. I am hoping that the big win in UP shall bring in additional focus on these two initiative in the cities of UP. All the major cities in UP, including the capital city of Lucknow and Varanasi, have high levels of air pollution throughout the year. 20 of the most polluted cities in the world are also in UP. Owing to our environmentally conscious government, I strongly hope that the UP government shall work towards mitigating the impending environmental issues persisting in the state. The current dispensation and strong leadership of our Hon’ble PM shall direct and encourage the “New India” to grow and become stronger, not only on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but also on a sustainable environmental foundation where people can breathe fresh air, drink clean water and consume clean energy.

Before the elections, CEED along with the support of 617 civil society groups, led a 100% UP Campaign, where we intended to create a political consensus on clean environment. We requested all political parties to include environmental issues as part of manifesto, and are glad that both the ruling party (BJP) and the opposition party (SP) had included the issue of environment. CEED along with other civil societies in UP will work together with the new government to make UP a clean, healthy and sustainable state. The 100% UP Campaign travelled across 44 districts in the state and mobilised support of 29,000,000 citizens who demanded the new elected government to work towards the various environmental issues in the state.

I congratulate BJP on the victory and take the opportunity to urge the new government to continue working towards fulfilling the promises towards building a better environment. We expect the government to have stronger environmental norms that do not buckle down under corporate pressure. Clean energy, clean air, clean river and proper waste management in Uttar Pradesh must be a priority. We at CEED are committed to work together to find a lasting solution to our environmental issues.

Ramapati Kumar is the CEO and Founder of CEED.