Class- 11 Chapter-5 The Ailing Planet: the Green Movement’s Role- Extra Questions and Notes

By | December 21, 2018

Extra Questions, Notes, Assignment and study material for Class 11th as Per CBSE Syllabus

Chapter- 5 English Language and Literature

           The Ailing Planet: the Green Movement’s Role

                                                                                                       By- Nanipalkhivala

 Introduction of the lesson- The Ailing Planet: the Green Movement’s Role


Nanipalkhivala’s article on the declining health of the earth was written in 1994. The issues that he raised in the context are not improving but worsening. The situation is alarming. The thinkers are now creating breathing awareness to save the earth from going to dogs. Man himself can make or mar his destiny. He can save human race or destroy all forms of life. The present indications are not encouraging any hope or improvements. Day by day the increasing pollution of the environment is creating problems, space problem and survival problems. Man is rightly said to be the world’s most dangerous animal. He talks freely and in large herds like savages in the past. His war weapons are million times deadlier than swords and spears. The poisonous chemicals and gases, the carbon dioxide and the industrial waste are the real enemies of our race. The forests are disappearing, the deserts are expanding, the earth is becoming inhabitable. Our planet is in trouble chiefly because of a population boom. The writer draws our attention to all these bunting issues of the day in this thought-provoking article.

 Important Word-Meanings of difficult words from the lesson- The Ailing Planet: the Green Movement’s Role


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Decliningfalling, गिरता हुआ ; relevanceImportance, प्रासंगिकता ; recallbring to mind, स्मरण करना ; grippedheld firmly, कसकर पकड़ रखा ; movementcampaign, आन्दोलन ; looked backstopped, थम जाना ,पीछे हटना ;shiftedmoved off, स्थान परिवर्तन , परिवर्तन करना; Irrevocablyfinally, अटलतापूर्वक; mechanisticlike a machine, यंत्रवत;holistic and ecological viewtreating as a whole and affecting all the components as parts of Nature,संपूर्ण और सभी से जुड़ा पर्यावरण विज्ञान; perceptionsunderstanding, बोध,समझl

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Revolvedmoved, चक्कर लगाते ;consciousnessawareness, चेतना; organismorganic structure with its parts working together,जीवधारी रचना ; enormoushuge, विशालकाय; metabolic needschemical changes continually growing on; vital processesessential activities,अतिमहत्वपूर्ण प्रकियाएँ ; preservedsaved,सुरक्षित रखी गई; vital signlife symptoms, जीवन लक्षण; revealshow, दिखाते हैं ; decliningdrooping, क्षय होती ,बिगड़ती ; ethicalmoral, नीतिविषयक ; obligationsduties, bindings,बंधन ; stewardsmanager. प्रबंधक ; trusteesone who holds the management of a property in trust, धरोहर रखने वाला ; legacyinherited property, पैतृक संपत्ति; conceptIdea, अवधारणा; sustainable development-development that does not deprive the future generations of their due; compromisingsacrificing, making unfair deal, समझौता करना ; strippingrobbing, laying bare, exhausting, खत्म कर देना ,लूट लेना ; dawnedcame as an understanding, समझ आ गई; dominationtotal authority, संप्रभुता; cataloguedmade a list of,  सूची तैयार की; reckoncount, say; languishgrowing weak or dying, क्षीण हो जाना; speciesclasses, प्रजातियाँ ; ignominioushateful, shameful, निन्दनीय; Interaliaamong other things; ecologyThe relation of all living creatures and plants to each other and to their environment; distinguishedeminent,प्रतिष्ठित ; successorthe coming generation, उत्तराधिकारी,भावी पीढ़ियाँ ;scorcheddried, झुलसा हुआ ; advancingextending, spreading, फैलता हुआ ;impoverishedmade poor, damaged, निर्धन बनाया गया ; landscapesland scenery, भूतल ,भूद्रश्य; ailingsickly, रुग्ण; globalof the whole world,वैश्विक ; prospectfuture, chances, भविष्य; principalchief, प्रमुख ; croplandsland suitable for cultivation, खेती योग्य भूमि I

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Virtuallyalmost, actually, वस्तुतः; derivedobtained from, से प्राप्त; syntheticsartificial or man-made compounds, कृत्रिम उत्पाद; unsustainablewhich cannot be maintained, अवहनीय; impairedweakened, damaged, कम किया गया ; collapsefall below danger level, break down, ध्वस्त होना ; convertedchanged, बदल जाएंगें; barreninfertile, बंजर ; deteriorateget worse, विकृत होना ; decimateddestroyed, नष्ट होना ; procureget, प्राप्त करना; evolutiondevelopment, क्रमिक विकास ; specieskinds, प्रजातियाँ; extinctiondeath, disappearance, विलुप्त होना ; precedecome before. पहले आने वाला ; ancientvery old, अतिप्राचीन ; patrimonyparental or ancestral inheritance, विरासत ; erodingdying slowly, धीरे –धीरे समाप्त होते जाना ; dungexcreta of cattle,गोबर,उपले ; deprivesrobs, वंचित करना ; Endeavourmake efforts, प्रयास करना ; anguish-pain, मानसिक कलेश; enforcedapplied, made effective, लागू किया जाना ; Instanceexample,उदाहरण; bondedput under contract, बंधक ; abolishedfinished, समाप्त करना , उन्मूलन करना ; flourishprosper. फलना –फूलना ; highlightedshown prominently, उभारकर दिखाया ; catastrophicdisastrous, विध्वंस; depletionact of growing less,रिक्तीकरण; decadea period of ten years, दस वर्ष; reliableworthy of being believed, विस्वसनीय ; datafigures, सर्वेक्षण,आंकड़ा ; designatedset apart, declared, घोषित किए जाए ; virtuallyalmost, लगभग; indicatedshown, दर्शाए गए ; statisticsthe collection of figures. आँकड़े I


Satellitesउपग्रह; aerialtaken from above, हवाई; investigatedexamined, surveyed, छानबीन किए गए; distortingspoiling, deforming, विकृत करना; fertilitybirth rate, productivity,बच्चों की संख्या में वृद्धि; contraceptivea means to check conception, गर्भ –निरोधक साधन  ; begetproduce, father, प्रजनन करना; merelyonly; sterilisedmade incapable of fathering children, बध्याकरण; alternativeway out,विकल्प ; voluntaryof one’s own free will, स्वेच्छापूर्वक; coercionuse of force, बलप्रयोग , perpetuationnever-ending process. निरन्तर बने रहन ा; priorityfirst Importance, प्राथमिकत; transcendingsurpassing, बढ़ता हुआ; concernworry, चिन्ता; holisticcomplete; demiseend, death; emergingrising, coming up; ushered InIntroduced; eraage; Integrated- joined, एकीकृत ; dissociatedseparated, पृथक; crucialcritical,कठिन,नाजुक ; transformationchange, परिवर्तन ; effectedbrought about,crate,बनाया जाना ; existencethe state of being active, अस्तित्व; exceldo much better,श्रेष्ठ होना ; felicitousdelightful, appropriate. आनन्ददायक; freeholdproprietorship, पूर्णस्वामित्व; life tenancythe right to live until we die, जीवनकाल की किरायेदारी; repairingmaintenance,  Keeping in order; leasecontract for a limited period, पट्ट ा; inheritedreceive something from somebody after their death. पैतृक परम्परा से प्राप्तI

Short and Simple Summary of the lesson in English– The Ailing Planet: the Green Movement’s Role/ Summary in simple Words/ Critical appreciation of the lesson – The Ailing Planet: the Green Movement’s Role

Complete Summary

All is not well with our planet, the earth. It is ailing or sick. And all because of our own weaknesses, vices and misdeeds. The earth is facing numerous and big problems. The man has taken all the gifts of Nature for granted. He has been exploiting all the natural resources madly and in excess. He is doing so in the name of development. But the real problem is his selfish motive. He thinks he has absolute right over the land, the sea and what lies deep below in the earth. Overuse of limited resources and their side-effects have made the earth inhabitable, not only for the present generation but also for those who will come hereafter.

In the last 100 years or so, we have done the greatest damage to the earth; we have polluted the air, soil and water. We have created shortages of all things of our basic needs. In 1972, for the first time, the people realised the danger to the very existence of our race, and the urgent need to check it. The Green Movement was started in New Zealand. The panic gripped the imagination of the entire human race. There came a shift in our outlook. We started taking the holistic view of the world, the world as a whole and not in terms of national interests. This change proved revolutionary. For the first time in human history, the people began to see the world as a living organism. As one body, all its needs and parts have to be respected. Preserved and used sensibly. We are, after all, not the absolute masters of this earth. We are only the trustees of this legacy. It is our moral duty not to leave this earth sick and robbed of all natural resources.

In the zoo at Lusaka, Zambia, a notice attracts the visitor, ‘The world’s most dangerous animal’. Inside the cage, there is no animal but only a mirror where you see yourself. In plain words, man is the most dangerous enemy of this planet, his home for thousands of years. The fact is that we are sharing the earth with lakhs of living creatures – big and small. Most of them are nearing their end because we have multiplied dangerously.

The foremost question before us is whether we are going to leave our great grandchildren a planet with advancing deserts and an ailing environment. Our entire economic system is based on four sources—fisheries, forests, grasslands and croplands. These also supply our food and raw materials for our industries. Then below the earth’s surface lie deposits of minerals and crude oil. In most parts of the world, we have exploited these systems to a point that they are almost collapsing. The fishes are fast disappearing in rivers and the sea. The forests are disappearing. The grasslands are turning into wastelands. The agriculture is on its last legs. Many species of life are facing extinction as a result of the destruction of forests for more space and to meet the need for fire-wood. As forests grow smaller, the deserts overtake. People use cow dung not as a natural fertiliser but for burning to cook food.

We, today, are losing almost two acres of forests per second. Our constitution provides that the state shall protect the environment, the forests and the wildlife. But laws are never respected, nor enforced in India. It is in line with the laws to end untouchability, bonded labour and casteism.

A study conducted by the UN warns that the environment is a critical stage in 88 countries investigated. What, after all, are the factors marring the future of human society? On top of all the evils, is population growth. Every four days, the world population increases by ten lakh people. In 1800, the total world population was 100 crores. By 1900, the number rose to 200 crores. But by the end of 2000, the population is touching 600 crores. The only way to check the numbers is all-round development—widespread education and better income. But all development comes to zero with the increase in population. As the rich get richer, the poor produce more children and remain poor. Should menfolk be sterilised like cattle? The better way is voluntary family planning. Population control must get topmost priority if we want to survive.

 We need to protect our environment from pollution. It is our only passport for the future. Industry can play a crucial role in keeping our air, water and soil clean. No generation has a freehold on this earth. We have got only life tenancy. We have not inherited it from our forefathers; we have borrowed it from our children.

Summary in Hindi

हमारी पृथ्वी की दशा ठीक नहीं हैI यह अस्वस्थ हो रही है , और इसका कारण है हमारी अपनी त्रुटियाँ , अवगुण तथा कुकर्म Iपृथ्वी अनेक बड़ी-बड़ी समस्याओं से जूझ रही हैI मनुष्य ने प्रकृति के सभी संसाधनों को अपनी धरोहर समझ रखा हैI वह प्राकृतिक संसाधनों का दोहन पागलों की भाँति तथा सीमातीत तरीके से कर रहा है Iवह यह सब विकास के नाम पर कर रहा हैI पर असली समस्या है मनुष्य का स्वार्थीपनI वह सोचता है कि पृथ्वी, समुद्र तथा इसके नीचे जो कुछ दबा पड़ा है उस सब पर उसका निरंकुश अधिकार हैI सीमित संसाधनों का अधिक उपयोग तथा उससे पैदा होने वाले दुष्परिणामों ने पृथ्वी को रहने योग्य नहीं छोड़ा हैI यह समस्या वर्तमान पीढ़ी की नहीं है वरन् आने वाली पीढ़ियां को भी झेलनी पड़ेगीI

पिछले 100 वर्षों में हमने पृथ्वी को सर्वाधिक क्षति पहुँचाई है Iहमने वायु तथा जल को प्रदूषित कर दिया है Iहमने अपनी मूलभूत जरूरतों की सभी वस्तुओं का अभाव पैदा कर दिया हैI1972 में पहली बार लोगों ने मानव जाति के अस्तित्व के खतरे को पहचाना Iन्यूजीलैंड में हरित क्रांति का प्रारम्भ हुआ Iभय ने सम्पूर्ण मानव जाति के मन को उद्धेगित कर दिया Iहमारे दृष्टिकोण में परिवर्तन आ गयाI हमने संसार को इकाई मानकर सोचना शुरू किया Iविभिन्न राष्ट्रीय हितों की दृष्टि से नहींI यह परिवर्तन क्रांतिकारी थाI मानव इतिहास में पहली बार लोगों ने विश्व को एक जैव हो या जीवंत रूप में समझा Iएक शरीर के रूप में उसकी हर जरूरत तथा अवयवों का आदर करना होगाI उनको संरक्षित करके समझदारी से इस्तेमाल करना होगाI आखिरकार हमारी पीढ़ी ही तो इस पृथ्वी की निरंकुश स्वामी नहीं हैI हमारा नैतिक दायित्व है हम इस पृथ्वी को बीमार तथा सभी संसाधनों से रहित न छोड़ जाएँ I

लुसाका, जांबिया,के एक चिड़ियाघर में एक नोटिस सभी आगन्तुकों का ध्यान आकर्षित करता है:‘संसार का सर्वाधिक खतरनाक जीव’Iपिंजरे के अंदर कोई पशु नहीं है; केवल एक दर्पण लटका है जिसमें आपको अपना ही प्रतिबिंब नजर आएगा Iसाफ शब्दों में, मनुष्य ही इस ग्रह अथवा धरती का सबसे बड़ा शत्रु है; वही अपने इस घर को क्षति पहुँचाएगा Iसच्चाई तो यह है कि हम इस पृथ्वी पर लाखों अन्य जीवों के साथ सहभागितापूर्वक रह रहे हैं Iयह जीव छोटे तथा विशालकाय दोनों प्रकार की हैं Iइनमें से अधिकांश तो अपना अस्तित्व खोते जा रहे हैं क्योंकि हम मनुष्यों की संख्या बहुत बढ़ गई हैI

हमारे सामने सबसे महत्वपूर्ण समस्या यह है कि क्या हम इस धरती को अपने वंशजों के लिए ऐसी स्थिति में छोड़ जाएँगे जिसमें मरुस्थल बढ़ता जाएगा, तथा पर्यावरण प्रदूषित होता जाएगा, हमारी सारी आर्थिक व्यवस्था के चार स्तम्भ या स्रोत हैं–मछली वन, घास के मैदान तथा कृषि योग्य भूमि Iयह हमें भोजन सुलभ कराते हैं तथा हमारे उधोगों के लिए कच्चा माल भी देते हैं I इसके अलावा धरती के नीचे खनिज तथा कच्चा तेल भी दबा है Iविश्व के अधिकांश भागों में इन स्रोतों का दोहन इस स्तर तक हो गया है कि वे अब समाप्त होने की कगार पर पहुँच गए हैंI मछलियाँ हमारी नदियों और समुद्र से कम होती जा रही हैIवनकट-कटकर गायब हो रहे हैंIचरागाह बंजर भूमि में बदलते जा रहे हैं, तथा कृषि मरणासन्न हो रही है I अनेक प्रकार की प्रजातियाँ तेज गति से वनों के कटाव के कारण विलुप्त होती जा रही हैं ;वन काटे जाने का कारण है अधिक खुली जगह की जरूरत तथा ईंधन की लकड़ी की माँगIज्यों –ज्यों वन छोटे होते जा रहे हैं, रेगिस्तान बढ़ता जा रहा है लोग गोबर के उपले बनाकर उसे जलावन के रूप में इस्तेमाल कर रहे हैं जिसके कारण खेतों को प्राकृतिक खाद नहीं मिल पा रही हैI

आज के समय हम हर सेकण्ड में लगभग डेढ़ एकड़ बन की कटाई करते जा रहे हैंI हमारा संविधान कहता है कि राज्य पर्यावरण, वनों तथा वन्य जीवो की रक्षा करेगा Iपर कानूनों का भारत में न कभी आदर किया जाता है न ही उन्हें लागू किया जाता है इनकी दशा वैसे ही है जैसे छुआछूत निवारण,बँधुआ मजदूर तथा जातिवाद को रोकने वाले कानूनों की है I

संयुक्त राष्ट्र संघ के एक सर्वेक्षण में हमें चेतावनी दी है कि 88 देशों में जहाँजाँच-पड़ताल की गई, वहाँ  पर्यावरण की दशा सोचनीय है Iमानव समाज के भविष्य को खतरे में डालने वाले कौन कौन से कारण हैं ? सबसे ऊपर है जनसंख्या वृद्धि Iहर चारदिन में विश्व की जनसंख्या में 10 लाख लोग जुड़ जाते हैं I1800में कुल जनसंख्या की 100 करोड़I100 वर्ष पश्चात 1900 में यह दोगुनी होकर 200 करोड़ हो गईI पर 2000 के अंत तक यह बढ़कर लगभग 600 करोड़ हो गईI इस वृद्धि को रोकने का एकमात्र उपाय है सर्वागीण विकास- शिक्षा प्रसार तथा बेहतर आय Iपर सारा विकास तो जनसंख्या वृद्धि की चूस लेती हैI धनी तो अधिक धनवान हो रहे हैं ; गरीब लोग अधिक बच्चे पैदा करके दरिद्रता में डूबते जा रहे हैं Iतो क्या पुरुषों की जबरन नसबन्दी कर दी जाए ? बेहतर तरीका है स्वेच्छा से अपनाया गया परिवार नियोजनIजनसंख्या में ठहराव हमारे अस्तित्व की रक्षा के लिए अत्यावश्यक हैI

हमें अपने पर्यावरण को प्रदूषण से बचाने की जरूरत है Iयह हमारे भविष्य का एकमात्र पासपोर्ट हैIउधोग भी हमारी वायु तथा जल एवं जमीन को साफ रखने में मदद कर सकते हैंI किसी भी पीढ़ी के नाम धरती का स्थायी पट्टा नहीं लिख दिया गया है Iहमें तो अपने जीवन काल की किरायेदारी मिली हैI हमने पृथ्वी को अपने पूर्वजों से विरासत में नहीं पाया हैI हमेंतो यह अपने बच्चों से उधार में मिली हैI

Following is the complete question bank for The Ailing Planet: the Green Movement’s Role

Short Answer Type Questions  (30 to 40 words)

Short Answer Questions

1.Comment on the title of the lesson The Ailing Planet.

Ans. Our planet, the Earth, is passing through a bad phase. Its health is declining. The sources of food and other factors necessary for healthy living are drying up. All four chief systems are depleting fast. Fisheries, forests, pasturelands and agriculture have been overtopped.

2. Which movement has gripped the imagination of the entire world today?

Ans. The Green Movement is gaining momentum in the world today. Started in 1972 in New Zealand, It has created awareness about saving the earth as a whole. Saving forests, fisheries and natural resources for future generations have become a grave concern.

3. There is a shift in human perceptions, a growing consciousness. What is it about?

Ans. There is a growing worldwide awareness that the earth is a living organism, and we humans are its parts. The earth has its own needs which should be respected. We have a moral duty to save the world from destruction.

4. What is our ethical obligation to the earth?

Ans. We, truly speaking, are not the absolute owners of this earth. It is common property. It belongs as much to us as to the future generation. We must not tap all its natural resources for our own consumption. We are just the trustees of this planet: so we should keep it healthy.

5. How does the author define the concept of sustainable development?

Ans. Our natural resources are not unlimited, except for the sun and the ocean. When we use the forests and fisheries and other resources we ought not to forget the needs of future generations. The two inexhaustible sources of energy are the sun and the sea. The forests are sustainable, they grow again if we do not destroy them mindlessly. Our development plans should be tailored in such a way that we do not rob our progeny of their share.

6. Man is the world’s most dangerous animal. How?

Ans. The notice in a cage in Zambia zoo blames a man for all the nuisance, destruction and dangers to life on the earth. He is over-greedy and ill-natured. He is harming the air, water and the soil. He is doing more harm to the planet than all the wild animals.

7. Man must change his ways to follow the principle of partnership rather than dominations. How and why?

Ans. Man is undoubtedly the master of the earth. He is guided by the principle of domination over wildlife, the minerals and food available on the planet. The fact is that he is sharing the earth with millions of other living species. He has no right to turn into deserts or wastelands. He has a moral duty to leave it in a healthy state for his successors.

8. What question was raised by Mr L.K. Jha in the Brandt Commission Report?

Ans. The international commission in its report posed a very poignant question to those who are plundering all the natural resources for their own use today. The Report raised a question as to what sort of world we are going to leave for our descendants. It seems we are going to pass on to our children only deserts and barren lands and unhealthy environment.

9. What according to Mr Lester Brown form the foundation of the global economic system?

Ans. The four principal biological systems, according to Mr Lester Brown, are fisheries, forests, grasslands and croplands. They supply our food in addition to providing raw materials for industry. Then there are minerals and petroleum which are extracted from deep inside the earth.

10. How is man depleting the sources of food and raw materials to an alarming level?

Ans. In large parts of the world, man is tapping all available natural resources to meet his needs. He is clearing the forests, overfishing in the seas, harming the pasturelands with his flocks of sheep and harvesting the maximum number of crops on the cultivable land.

11. What pressure are people building on forests and water bodies?

Ans. With the rapid growth of population, the requirement of protein has also gone up. Hence, overfishing has become intense and common. As for the forests, the people are destroying them for firewood and to create land for farming. With deforestation, many species of wildlife are also facing extinction.

12. What is the rate of decline or erosion in tropical forests in the world?

Ans. Forests have existed on the earth long before man came on the scene. But the way the trees are being felled, the deserts will overtake us before long. The world is losing forests at a rate of five crore acres a year. Actually, the loss is an acre and a half per second. The use of dung for burning instead of providing organic fertiliser to the soil is much to be blamed for a decrease in forests.

13. What does a recent report of our parliament’s committee highlight India’s forests?

Ans. According to figures collected, India is losing its forests at the rate of nearly 4 million acres a year. The actual loss could be eight times the rate shown in official figures.

14. What does article 48A of the constitution of India provide?

Ans. Article 48A of the constitution calls upon the states to protect and improve the environment, the forests and wildlife of the country. But this provision is rarely acted upon and enforced.

15. How are laws flouted openly in India?

Ans. Laws in our country are neither respected nor enforced. They are broken without any fear. For example, the constitution of India has abolished casteism, untouchability and bonded labour. But all these social evils are flourishing shamelessly even after seventy years of independence.

16. Which is the strongest factor in darkening the future of human society?

Ans. The strongest factor distorting the future of our race is the rapid growth of population. The world took one million years to reach the figure of 100 crores in 1800. But by 1900, the world population had doubled. In the twentieth century, the population rose by 3.7 billion. Today, the world population is about 600 crore.

17. How can the rapid growth of the population be checked?

Ans. Development or better standard of living is the most effective contraceptive to check population growth. Birth rate falls as education spreads and incomes rise. But the present increase in numbers puts the clock back. The poor beget more children than the rich. So they continue to be poor and unemployed. It is not possible to sterilise human beings compulsorily. Voluntary family planning alone can control the population and fight poverty.

18. What has NaniPalkhivala to say about India’s population problem?

Ans. The present population of India has crossed 100 crores. It is more than the entire population of Africa and South America put together. Millions would die of hunger or disease unless population control is enforced strictly.

19. What is meant by the holistic view of the world and our existence?

Ans. The world today is reduced to a village, thanks to the rapid means of transport and communication. Any problem affecting one part can spread like wildfire and affect the whole world. Hence, we have to tackle every problem on a big scale, involving the entire world. This is called the holistic view of the world. No country can stand apart in isolation; we are all inhabitants of the planet Earth.

20.  What role can industry play in saving the environment and the survival of our race?

Ans. The industry has to play a vital role in the survival of the human race. It has to shoulder the responsibility of keeping the industrial growth sustainable. This is because the industry has already taken a heavy toll on our natural resources.

21. Sum up the warning given and message conveyed by the BritishPrime Minister Mrs Thatcher.

Ans. Mrs Thatcher’s warning is very timely and life-saving. It says that no generation has the absolute ownership of the natural wealth on the earth and below the surface. We are here only as tenants. And to keep the earth in good form is our moral obligation.

In the words of Lester Brown, the present generation has not inherited the earth as their sole-ownership property from the forefathers. In fact, we have borrowed it from our children and we shall have to return it to them in a better condition.

22. Explain, ‘what goes under the pot now costs more than what goes inside it.’

Ans. Due to an extensive cutting of forests, firewood has become more expensive than the food being cooked in the pot.

 Important Long/ Detailed Answer Type Questions- to be answered in about 100 -150 words each Value-based questions-

Long Answer Questions

1. How does the author justify his statement about the critical condition of our ailing Planet?

Ans. The earth today looks like a patient in declining health. The natural resources are declining. There are four principal systems which support life on earth—fisheries, forests, grasslands and agriculture. They form the global economic system. But man has overexploited all the four sources. Fisheries have collapsed. Forests are disappearing. Pasturelands are turning into wastelands because of overgrazing. Agriculture is also in a bad state. In this protein-hungry world, nobody bothers about the future. Laws are rarely respected or enforced honestly. The results are disturbing. Indian forests have been reduced to one-tenth of their former size in the last 40 years. There is a wild race to strip the earth of all its resources. The root cause of this problem is population growth. The survival of our race and the planet depends on family planning and the removal of poverty.

2. How does Nani palkhiwala underline the importance of forests for the survival of all sorts of life on earth?

Ans. Forests are man’s real friends. They sustain themselves if we destroy them carefully. They provide food to the people and raw material to industries. When forests are cleared mindlessly, deserts overtake or expand. Many species of birds and animals disappear. The burning question today is how to check deforestation. This world belongs as much to us as to our successors or grandchildren. Hence, it is our moral duty to keep it green, fertile and rich in natural wealth. It is rightly said that there were vast forests and grasslands before man came on the scene. But it seems in the next stage there will be only deserts and wastelands. Indian constitution provides that the states shall protect the environment and safeguard the forests as well as wildlife. But who cares?

3. How is the growing human population responsible for the declining health of the earth?

Ans. Undoubtedly, the number game is going to decide the future of human society. The rapid growth of population is our enemy number one. It not only all development activities but also reduces the existing resources. The world population was 100 crore up to the year 1800. The next century added 100 crores more. But at the end of the 20th century, the population touched the figure of 600 crores.

One way to check the population boom is to improve the quality of life and spread education. But today, the rich are becoming richer while the poor are producing more and more children. One alternative is to sterilise the people by using force. But that step is not practical. The only effective means is to spread the message of family planning, educate the people and make them aware of the dangers of overpopulation.

4. Why is it necessary for the present generation to leave the earth in a good enough condition for future generations?

Ans. This earth of ours is our common property. We are sharing it with all sorts of living things and creatures. They have as much right to exist as we human beings. Secondly, we alone do not have a freehold on this earth. It is not our freehold property. We are only, tenants, on the earth for our lifetime. We have, In fact, not inherited the earth from our forefathers. We have only borrowed it from our children. We have no moral right to use up all the resources to meet our present needs and urge for comforts. We can not leave it barren for our grandchildren. Since we are only the trustees of this planet, we have to save it and leave it, rich in minerals and food. This is the minimum we can do for our descendants.

5. Sum up in brief, the views and observations of NaniPalkhiwala about the present and future of our planet?

Ans. The green movement is gripping the attention of the world today. It was started in 1972 in New Zealand. The earth, we now accept, is a living organism. Its vital parts need to be preserved.

Unfortunately, our earth looks more like an ailing patient than a healthy being. We are robbing it of all the forests, minerals and other resources. Man, it seems, has become the world’s most dangerous animal. For our own present-day comforts we are cutting forests mindlessly, overfishing in the water bodies, overgrazing our flocks on the grasslands, and over-cropping the land.

The blame squarely lies on the growth of population. The pressure of people is destroying all the resources. Nobody in India respects or enforces laws. There is nobody to improve the environment and safeguard the forests as well as wildlife. To save the planet population boom should be checked through family planning. Our generation is ‘only a trustee of the earth which truly belongs to future generations.

Value Based Questions and Answers of The Ailing Planet: the Green Movement’s Role

Value-Based questions

1. “It is paradoxical that the man who needs the healthy environment most, is destroying Its sanctity and purity for present monetary gains and endanger its own coming generation” Do you agree? Discuss.

Ans. Deterioration in environmental purity is directly proportionate to the economic activities of man. Rapid industrial growth has polluted the natural environment. Environment pollution causes global warming and it is a threat to the whole civilization. Human demands are increasing but resources are limited. Reckless and nonstop exploitation of natural resources has endangered the purity of the environment. Unknown diseases and extinction of many species of plants, animals and birds are the visible impacts. It is ironical that a man who needs the environment the most is destroying its purity and endangering the coming generation. We have realised the hazards and are adopting measures to rectify our mistakes. The ever-increasing population is the main culprit. So to give proper impetus to population stabilisation, a movement is the need of the hour.

The ever-increasing population is swallowing the resources our mother earth provides. A proper balance is required between our needs and resources. Earth will be a safe and healthy place for our posterity if we take care of it today.

2. The pollution problem is assuming demonic proportions and itis difficult to control it. Substantiate this fact with logical points and give views to counter it.

Ans. Due to rapid growth in population, more and more people come to the cities in search of employment. This growing population needs housing, jobs and other infrastructure. As cities expand to accommodate this ever-increasing population and development takes place, all concern for ecology is forgotten. Rules and regulations regarding the protection of the environment are flouted everywhere. As a result, trees are cut at a large scale to make way for flyovers and metro trains, green cover land is converted into colonies for people. Diesel driven trucks and buses pollute the atmosphere. As more and more people fall sick with breathing and heart problems, the government takes note and wakes up to address the situation.

The use of CNG vehicles in Delhi and ban on all vehicles more than sixteen years old are some of the ways adopted by the administration to curb the evil of pollution. This year farmers have been warned not to burn the stubble in their fields after harvesting their paddy crop. This used to pollute the air in Delhi and other cities. These are some of the ways to control pollution.

3. ‘Man is the biggest enemy of mankind.’ deforestation has become his hobby. Elaborate upon the theme.

Ans. It is tragic that man has forgotten that his very existence was once in the forest. Lust for money is depleting the forest cover. Industrialisation and urbanisation have resulted in the unmindful and merciless butchering of forests. The extinction of various wild animals and beautiful bird species is the result of deforestation. Flood, drought, famine, scanty rainfall, earthquake are nothing but silent revenge of nature.

The man has started repenting and he seeks forgiveness of nature. He has become aware of the vagaries of nature. The need for intensive forestry is being realised. The man has realised that in the conservation of the forests is hidden his own conservation and welfare. Not only man’s well being but the well being of all the creatures on this earth is directly linked with the preservation of forests. A poet has rightly said—

“One Impulse front the vernal wood

May teach port nature of man

Of moral evil and of good

Than all the sages can”

Forests and life on this earth arc interlinked. Had there been no forests, this very earth would have been annihilated long ago.

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