Lift your eyes up to the mountain

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | REKHA SHETTY
Published Nov 23, 2018, 12:06 am IST
Updated Nov 23, 2018, 12:06 am IST
You can turn around and go back the way you came. Or you can stay on the mountain and make it your home.
 Mountains are home to over a billion people. They depend on these for food, water and energy.   (Representational Images)
  Mountains are home to over a billion people. They depend on these for food, water and energy. (Representational Images)

‘Mountains are among the most beautiful geological formation on earth. Mountains cover quarter of the earth's land surface. “If you are faced with a mountain, you have several options. You can climb it and cross to the other side. You can go around it. You can dig under it. You can fly over it. You can blow it up. You can ignore it and pretend it's not there. You can turn around and go back the way you came. Or you can stay on the mountain and make it your home.” — Vera Nazarian. Mountains are home to over a billion people. They depend on these for food, water and energy. How to protect these habitats against degradation? Some of the world's hungriest and poorest; especially women are left on mountains to eke out a precious livelihood. What can be done to protect this vulnerable, beautiful and fragile habitat? Much of our river waters have their source in mountains. Thousands of plant species and animals live where it is endangered by exploration. These were the reasons why the 11th December has been named World Mountains Day.

Wrapped in ancient unspoilt societies are also the art, music, dance and culture of these communities which need to be preserved. We as a society need to create opportunities for people to become familiar with mountains and appreciate their blessing. There is a thin line between development and exploitation. Over 73% of Japan's terrain is mountainous, so declaring a public holiday on Mountain day makes sense. Indian culture seeks to create a sense of sacredness about mountains, making them the abode of the Gods. There are ways to explore the mountains rather than desecrate them. Mountains provide fresh water, needs of half of humanity and they are called the water towers of planet earth. Energy, bio-diversity and medicinal products are their other gifts. Mountains are degraded by undisciplined mining, farming. 

 

— The writer is the author of Everyday Happiness Mantras

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