Members of the tribal community at a conclave have said that they are fully contributing to the cause of environmental conservation but expressed apprehension that their efforts will fail without the cooperation of the government and the people. During the ongoing five-day tribal conclave 'Samvaad', the community members expressed concern over the deteriorating state of environment, saying pollution is caused because of greed for money.
"But money cannot buy life," they said. Wallis, a member of Brazilian tribal group visiting the Samvaad conclave being organised by Tata Steel, said people are destroying forests and polluting rivers and the seas in pursuit of money.
"When there will be no trees left to cut and no fish in the sea, the people will not be able to survive with money, so we must try to protect the environment," Wallis said.
Shubrana Pradahan from Odisha's Kandhamal said that it is time for people to realise that they will not get to breathe fresh air if deforestation continues at the current rate.
"If the government and the people do not help, all efforts to save the environment will fail," she said.
Pradhan Birua from Jharkhand's West Singhbhum district, an MBA graduate who left a high paid job to work as an environment conservationist, said it is important to protect birds as they play a vital role in conservation and expansion of forests.
"Birds carry seeds to far off places which helps in expansion of forests," Birua explained.
North Tripura-resident Yamlal Chong Ruglong blamed the increasing population for environmental pollution. "The needs of a large population are met by cutting more trees and setting up factories leading to rising in pollution levels," he said. Ruglong said he works for an NGO which plants trees in cities and spreads awareness about the importance of trees among people there. He said population control is essential to save the environment. Tribals from 23 states and 10 countries are participating in the conclave and this year's theme is "Tribalism Today". The event started on November 15, the birth anniversary of legendary tribal leader Birsa Munda. It concludes on Tuesday.