The young brigade of Delhi is aware about the environmental issues but consider population, corruption and poverty more important than it.
A survey of about 250 students of 12 Delhi University Colleges, IIT-Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Indraprastha University and All India Institute of Medical Sciences, has brought out that the most important issue in global context is spread of HIV/AIDS and in Indian context, it is country’s rising population. Unemployment was found to be high the scale of a disturbing issues for the students interviewed in the age group of 18-24 years.
The survey conducted through environment clubs by Rahul Sachdeva and his team of the Indian Institute of Ecology and Environmental Studies found that Environmental issues like global warming, extinction of plants and animals and pollution of rivers were found to be lower on their agenda of the majority of the students.
Over 50 per cent of the respondents were found to largely aware about the environmental issues but were found to be wanting on knowledge about the issues concerning environment. “They knew that Indian rivers are polluted but did not had much knowledge why it is taking place,” Sachdeva said. In case of general issues like unemployment, the knowledge was found to be much better.
The survey, done through a questionnaire between October 2006 and January 2007 found youth general knowledge to be varying depending on the issue. Over 50 percent of respondents know about the gas responsible for global warming, the sun rays that causes ozone layer depletion and forms of renewable energy. But, only 25 per cent respondents know that Protect Tiger is responsible for conservations of the national animal and just 19 per cent got knowledge of Centre for Science and Environment’s finding on pesticide residue in colas.
To some pertinent questions, the response of Delhi’s young was not found to be very encouraging. While Delhi’s youth are aware that garbage should be dumped in bins, only 30 per cent of the respondents said they ask a person to dispose garbage in a bin. To another question whether they would be interested in participating in afforestation drive, only 43 per cent responded in positive. Similar for cleanliness, 55 per cent responded in yes.
The study concluded that educating youth about environmental issues around them could help in making them more aware about the hazards of environmental loss and recommended to make environmental studies mandatory in educational institutions.