The time has come to question ourselves as citizens about our own actions and the legacy we are leaving behind.

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Renu Shah
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Dear Tanuj,

As I stood gaping in awe at the glaciers at the Everest Base Camp, I felt a sudden pang of pain in my heart. I wondered if you would witness what I was witnessing. The glaciers are melting bit-by-bit everyday and in my moment of happiness, I was enveloped by a strange sadness.

The time when you returned from your trek to Nanda Devi in the Himalayas, I realized how much you enjoy trekking. Your passion for climbing, trekking and riding makes me constantly worry about the world that I, as your mom, will leave behind for you and your children.

It’s not just the future that worries me but also the present, which is equally appalling. India is a beautiful country and we have reduced its streets, rich cultural heritage and natural beauty to an open garbage site. Sometimes I actually wonder if we are so stupid that we cannot see the result of our own actions, or if we have developed apathy towards yet another important issue. The time has come to question ourselves as citizens about our own actions and the legacy we are leaving behind.

As I write these lines, I am becoming aware of the small things I can change about myself. Changing individual actions will lead to the reduced collective demand for a lot of things including recycled cheap plastic bags and bottled water. I was heartbroken to find these plastic bags and bottles thrown around even in the Everest region. I feel that we, as a generation, need to articulate our thoughts more crisply and take responsibility for our actions.

I love you a lot and don’t want to leave behind these footprints for you and my grandchildren.

With love,
Mum

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