What is so significant about a closing year? The fact that one can take on the life to come with new zeal and commitment! A new year is nothing but a change of clothes you give to time- 365 and 1/4th days old time will wear a new look for us, with a brightness that will only become a reality if we stay strong and determined to make a positive change in and around ourselves.
Why do we not pledge for a greener, cleaner biosphere in 2024? Every year, a tree plantation is held by the government with public and private participation. But, how often have we heard of local/residential societies organising plantation drives in their localities with government representation? Why don't we pledge that for 2024? How nice it would be if not just so-called responsible citizens but everyone came forward to find (or create) some space for even a little green cover? And, then, hang a couple of bird feeders on tree branches. Place an earthen bowl with clean water in a safe spot for them. Then those are routinely refilled by volunteers and funded mutually by local people without any demand for a government grant! How nice it would be if we start following the age-old ritual of cooking three extra chapatis- one for the cow, one for the dog, and one for the crow (or any bird for that matter)! Okay, if three sounds too many, maybe just one- for the hungry mongrel that guards your colony the entire night? No, I don't believe that street dogs will be a threat to you if you treat them humanely and acquaint yourself with them. All that is needed will be a snapping of fingers in a friendly manner and not shooing them away unnecessarily. Teach your kids, from whichever strata of society you come from, to be kind and friendly with animals and birds. Teach them not to derive sadistic pleasure from causing them agony. A whining or yelping dog/puppy should never be musical to the ears, or a source of fun. This is no 'game'! Teach your kids (and even yourselves) this in 2024. Pledge to reform and fulfill that pledge!
This is what a new year is all about- reformation! Reform this new year by stopping yourself from peeing by roadsides, spitting just about anywhere, littering your surroundings, and burning garbage (including plastic). Reform yourself by not sitting around bonfires till the wee hours for no reason but cozy warmth and then leaving the fire to simmer for the remaining hours till dawn- by then it would have laden the air thick with smoke that would cause immense discomfort and choking to others in the neighbourhood. Grab your quilt and sleep early. Pledge to go early to bed (unless you are on the night shift, of course). Even then you can avoid burning wood or garbage- oh yes, if we go around the city, we can spot a lot of such jugadu fires at every nook and corner. Even tyres are burnt with sheer disregard for the environment and toxic additions to already thick air! Reform yourself on this account too! Then, don't forget to take your vehicle for that much-delayed servicing! Other than that, just follow the golden rule to live and let other beings live too, after all this world is a shared space and a new beginning should be for every being too. Start making a pro-environment and pro-nature to-do list from today in December 2023 as you stand on the brink, all set to step into 2024!