Mumbai, Jun 7 (IANS): Amid efforts by multiple agencies to combat climate change, there is one public representative from Maharashtra who has taken on this responsibility at a personal level.
Congress MLA Dhiraj Deshmukh says that he is not only making himself carbon neutral, but has also appointed a carbon officer and an auditor to map his carbon footprint at the micro and macro levels.
The 42-year-old MLA from Latur (Rural) says he is seeking to become India's first carbon neutral, sustainability-conscious politician.
Deshmukh, who has been working to address water scarcity faced by Latur's farmers and has undertaken tree plantation drives in his constituency, said: "It is time to put the planet before ourselves, because finally the only worthy legacy we can leave for our children and for the coming generations is a healthy planet."
"As a father, as a citizen of this planet and as a leader, it is my duty to lead by example and to reduce my own carbon footprint. I have appointed an auditor to map my carbon footprint so that even if I occasionally fall short of the sustainability standards during travel or in any other way, I am aware of it and can give back to the earth somehow. I know, as a human being, there will be failures. I will possibly find plastic bottles at meetings I am invited to or in other public places, but at least I will consciously regulate my own consumption patterns," Deshmukh said.
Noting that the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a roadmap for the developed and developing economies to balance their growth with their responsibilities, he said: "Even as individuals, we can all aspire for a carbon neutral and eco-sensitive life.
"Whether we do it by car pooling, conserving water, recycling waste, or by supporting local and indigenous farming practices is up to us. I am going to measure every micro and macro decision for its carbon quotient with the help of India's 'Recycle Man', Binish Desai. We are also working on a broader blueprint that goes beyond me to include rural sustainability as a central focus in Latur. I hope to lead my constituents with sustainable policies in all aspects."
Desai said, "Having young politicians like Dhiraj Deshmukh take a lead in sustainability and create a movement of solution-driven change in his personal life as well as in his constituency is really inspiring."