I just returned from India last week, where I heard about crocodiles that have reportedly turned pink, and whose tongues have gone white because of dyes polluting the rivers. I also heard about workers making bangles who contract cancer after just two years on the job.
These stories are not entirely new to me as Blacksmith has been working on pollution cleanup in India for quite some time now. In fact, in Noraiakheda, we also encountered people with hands probably as pink as the crocodiles. But the big difference I am sensing now is that support for pollution cleanup is the strongest it has ever been in India.
I was in India to speak at a conference, along with Jairam Ramesh, the Indian Minister for the Environment and Forests, who laid out his vision for a pollution-free India. The Minister has decided to make cleanup a priority in his country and we are excited at the prospect of being India’s strategic partner in this area.
In the audience were industry leaders, environmentalists and policy makers – all eager to launch a new front against pollution – together! The Minister also announced the pending formation of a National Green Tribunal and the India National Environment Protection Authority, similar to the EPA in the U.S.
Good things are happening in India.