AS every living creature on this planet depends on nature for sustenance, environmental protection has become more important than ever before. It is not simply about food, clothes or shelter anymore – it is much beyond that. We are depleting natural resources faster than nature can replenish them.

One of the most difficult challenges that we are facing is environmental degradation, resulting from deforestation, pollution, and climate change. Deteriorating environmental conditions have resulted in many other problems such as scarcity of resources, poor sanitation and hygiene, as well as calamities such as floods and droughts. We humans are causing excessive damage to the environment, many of which are irreversible.

Following figures stand testimony to that:

  • We are losing 7.3 million hectares of forest every year
  • Around 5.2 trillion plastic particles are floating in the oceans around the world
  • Nearly 7 million people die because of poor air quality every year
  • About 21.5 million people have been forced to relocate because of ill-effects of climate change in the past 12 years
  • Nearly 90% of solid waste in West Asia is disposed of as landfills, resulting in severe land pollution and contamination of groundwater. This in turn leads to health and sanitation-related issues.
World Environment Day 2021 - 5

Mother Earth is a giver, no doubt, but are we reciprocating? The answer lies in analysing our situation and taking steps to rectify it. Fortunately, the number of people who understand the need for environmental protection is strikingly high. 

It is the responsibility of the present generation to protect the environment so that our future generations get a better planet to live on.

According to an independent survey last year, over 70% of the people are well-aware of the ill effects of environmental degradation and climate change. 40% are even ready to adopt sustainable practices to bring a change. Thankfully, there are many NGOs that are working in the field of environmental protection to make our tomorrow better.

Here, we list the top 5 NGOs involved in protecting our environment:

1. Tropical Research & Development Centre (TRDC)

With a beautiful and symbolic water droplet logo that represents precisely what the TRDC does, this environmental NGO strives to preserve natural resources for generations to come. Established in 1994, the vision of TRDC is to make natural resources available to all, with no discrimination. This NGO, headquartered at Bengaluru, aims to nurture development practices through education, awareness and conservation.

The TRDC – Paryavaran project launched in some districts of Karnataka addresses the adversities of environmental degradation and climate change. The project also aims at conservation and betterment of local flora and fauna, revitalization of water resources, and involving the younger generation and farmers in their efforts to help in the preservation of natural resources.

2. SankalpTaru Foundation

This environmental NGO is a classic example of how digital channels can be used in the protection and conservation of the environment. SankalpTaru is an e-NGO, which aims at promoting tree plantation across the country. The NGO is active in 21 states in India. The plantation drive is run on a digital platform, allowing SankalpTaru to use innovative technologies such as GPS-tagging and others. This way, the volunteers can track the progress of plantation drives. So far, millions of trees have been planted since SankapTaru’s inception by Apurva Bhandari in 2013.

World Environment Day 2021 - SankalpTaru Foundation 1

The plantation drives are strategically planned so that they reach various strata of the society. The NGO involves all the aspects of environmental protection – rural development, cleaner schools, tree plantation in cities and community-based land protection.  Their principal aim is to create a greener, cleaner and healthier environment so that our future generations get a better and greener planet with even richer bio-diversity and abundant natural resources.

3. Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group

Focussed on promoting sustainable and equitable growth for every member of the society, Chintan works towards ensuring responsible and sustainable consumption, thus protecting the environment. Founder Bharati Chaturvedi is an avid writer with several powerful articles promoting environmental protection.

At Chintan, they endeavour to lessen surplus waste, promote sustainable consumption and facilitate better waste management. They also raise their voice against air pollution by creating awareness. The primary purpose of promoting sustainable consumption and waste management is to provide resources for the vulnerable and ostracised sections of the society.

World Environment Day 2021 - Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group 2

As one of the top NGOs for environmental protection in India, Chintan manages over 30 tonnes of solid and electronic waste each day in and around Delhi. They sort and recycle the waste collected from every doorstep. They partner with garbage pickers and volunteers in order to free the environment from such hazardous waste and create a better future for the generations to come.

4. Janmitram Kalyan Samiti

Literally translating to “friends of the people”, the Janmitran Kalyan Samiti was established in 2002 with the aim of working towards community development, hand-in-hand with the government and community-based groups. Through their Wadi Development Program in association with NABARD, they have successfully created more than 925 orchards, thus providing livelihood and basic needs to the tribal people. The most remarkable accomplishment of this project is that the barren lands that were earlier used by farmers for growing minor crops are now fertile and provide a better livelihood.

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This program has been supporting and protecting the environment and the people at the same time, for almost 10 years now. The Watershed Program is another initiative by the NGO, which aims at soil and water conservation activities in specific areas allotted to the NGO.  They also work towards capacity building and training of the locals and tribal people, to ensure the development of the community as a whole.

5. Gram Chetna Kendra

Keeping in view the recurring damages that droughts have caused in Rajasthan, the Gram Chetna Kendra has taken up the responsibility of providing solutions to the water problems. To address water scarcity in some of the rural areas of Rajasthan, many tanks and pools have been built for rainwater harvesting, thus ensuring the availability of drinking water throughout the year. The organization sensitizes rural people and are made aware of the problems at hand and their potential solutions too. To promote sanitation and a cleaner environment, they have also constructed public toilets at different locations.

World Environment Day 2021 - Gram Chetna Kendra 4

Their Livelihood Promotion Project aims at educating and facilitating local farmers to carry out efficient consumption of resources, sustainable usage of water for irrigation, and using modern, yet safe technology for farming. This NGO working for protecting our environment in India also promotes value chains and environment-friendly processing of goods.

(The article was updated on April 26, 2022)

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