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When the last tree is cut and the last fish killed, the last river poisoned, then you will see that you can’t eat money.’ John May India has a population of over one billion, of which almost 300 million live in around 600 towns and cities. Unfortunately, as a result of stressed environmental conditions, most of these towns and cities are unable to cope with the rapid pace of urbanisation. Water pollution, unavailability of drinking water, inadequate sanitation, open dumping of waste, and loss of forest cover are some of the related problems. These have serious consequences on the health of the people and are also an economic burden to the country. Similarly, water-borne disease like diarrhoea, jaundice and cholera are taking a heavy toll on both human health and economic productivity. This situation demands immediate intervention in the management of rapidly growing urban environmental problems. The quality of the environment needs to be monitored regularly and, more importantly, scientific work needs to extend beyond the laboratory and become more community centered. While the regulatory agencies continue to play their role. Programmes that are community based are required. These will help the community understand local issues and take necessary initiatives to improve their local environmental conditions and come up with new locale-specific initatives to improve their sorrounding environmental conditions. CLEAN-India (Community Led Environment Action Network) programme was launched by Development Alternatives (DA) with the vision of developing a cleaner environment for our urban centres. This nation-wide programme focuses on environmental assessment, awareness, advocacy and action on school children who are the future citizens. The underlined realisation is that ‘each one of us is responsible for the current state of are environment and we cannot wait for someone else to solve it’.
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