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Cities  Cancer to the earth ::

Author Dr. Pravin Chordia M.S.


White collared affluent lifestyle :

I was myself living in Pune city. Being a surgeon and coming from a well to do family I was living a typical White collared affluent lifestyle. I remember in 1960s Pune was famous for its beautiful weather and was also called as ‘pensioner’s city’, ‘city of bicycles’ and was also famous as education centre.


Handcarts, bullock carts, horse carriages, cycles were main means of transport at that time. Cars were sparsely seen. Population was around 5 lakhs at that time which has crossed 30 lakh figure now.


“Winter in Pune is so cool, You lucky Pune people don’t require fans” were the usual remarks by our Mumbai (then Bombay) friends. Right from the big festival of dipawali to Holi, that means from Nov. to March, sweaters, jerkins, mufflers used to be routinely worn by everybody.


Early mornings used to be full of birds twittering and those happy birds used to remind us of the onset of spring. Crowing of the cocks, sparrows, crows, eagles, butterflies, bees suddenly started disappearing.


As time passed, ‘wadas’ and ‘chawls’ were replaced by apartments; apartments were taken over by huge skyscrapers. Cycles disappeared and scooters were seen on the roads; scooters eventually have given way to cars. Carts and bullock carts disappeared and rickshaws and tempos filled in…shikekai and reetha vanished from routine household things while shampoo and soaps came along…while our staple grains jowar and bajra are being replaced by wheat from Punjab …we never realized when our local berries got replaced by strawberries and litchis just as we didn’t realize when our local games like khokho, kabaddi, were kicked out by football and cricket …but now it doesn’t matter whether its football, cricket or any other game because we don’t even need to go on grounds to play them…we can just enjoy the game by watching it on TV or by playing them on video games.


My clean and green Pune got lost in this jungle of cement concrete structures.

My beautiful, clean Pune city is now known as one of the most polluted city in the world…

The city has grown like cancer, like a tumour which has uncontrolled unmanageable growth.


We never realized when the ‘pensioner’s city became an IT city’.

The number of automobiles is increasing day by day.

Cycles are on the verge of extinction in this city of cycles.

The river Mula Mutha has turned into a mere sewage canal. Mosquitoes on the rise, trash all around…we’re tired of finding remedies for new diseases like malaria, dengue, swine-flu etc…

More than 60% of the people are staying in the slums!


We don’t experience the coolness in the air nor do we see the fog in the winter anymore. Fans and Air conditioners have to be used practically 24*7, almost 365 days a year…

Not only in Pune but you’ll see this picture in the different cities of the world! Now, I am ashamed to call myself a cityite since I started studying about the environmental problems.


We keep telling ourselves that ‘we are the most intelligent species on earth’ and the super-intelligent among us live in the cities. All these people live their lives in a very special peculiar way. Before they come into this world their special journey starts…their growth is totally dependant on calcium and iron tablets…the mother is usually allergic to exercise, fruits, green vegetables…bed rest and after 5 to 10 sonographies they come into this world and most of the time through the unnatural way that is C-section. The reason for which is obvious the muscles in the mothers abdomen are not strong enough to push the child out through the natural passage. After their birth they spend the first 8 to 10 days in a closed box i.e. an incubator. These children grow up consuming different kinds of medicines, tonics and antibiotics. Mother’s milk is not enough either due to her health or as the mother doesn’t want to spoil her figure, or she can’t manage it…whatever the reason is now a days the child has to depend more on cerelac and farex rather than mother’s milk! Due to the polluted air and low immunity, these children are permanent clients for the pediatricians and drug producing companies. Since these parents are super-intelligent, they want to send their kids to the school at a very early age! These kids who can’t clean their own nose, who pee in the pants…oh sorry sorry in their diapers start attending schools in air-conditioned classrooms! Right here these kids start traveling which keeps on increasing as they grow up…the last stage of this travel ends up as a journey to some foreign country for further studies! 2 to 3 hours of traveling, 7 to 8 hours of school, and if they have a little more free time then they go to various classes…to add to this they have a very poor immune system so they end up in the docotr’s OPD’s and clinics every now and then!


These super-intelligent parents have absolutely no shame about the fact that they are compelling their children to breathe in this polluted air, that they all are consuming food with enormous amounts of pesticides and chemicals, that their children have spectacles because of too much TV and computers, their teeth has numerous number of cavities, their hair are turning grey at very young age…they are not guilty nor feel ashamed  of the unfit kids rather they keep saying that my child doesn’t eat properly and will run behind them  with  maggi and biscuits!


Under the worry of whether he’ll become an engineer, doctor, or will study IT and will earn lakhs of rupees who has time to think over the health and other trivial things!

They can not stay out in the sun and never get fresh air to breathe…their real oxygen in the life is marks they get in exams. In this way, at the age at which they are supposed to be on the peak of their health , most of them become unhealthy and lazy. Muscular and healthy bodies are rarity now… most of the people are either too thin or too fat, youngsters with stooping backs, a bottle of coke, a pack of lays and TV in front of him or her…even basic things like early to bed early to rise, regular exercise, eating on time have long been forgotten by them. In fact they are far away from them now. Principles of life, importance of Nature and health are never taught in their schools or colleges. Career, success and money are the MOST important of all is constantly taught to these children! Only the people with money are respected in their society, then it doesn’t matter how or in what way he makes that money! The idols of these people are Shahrukh, Salman and Sachin that is why everybody wants to drink the soft drink that they drink in advertisement and want the car that they drive. I really don’t understand, who is wrong? The younger generation having a penchant of branded clothes, mobiles, fastest bike; or their parents who help them to fulfill these…

But one thing is for sure that in most of the houses the grandfather is fitter than the father and the father than his son…thus these super-intelligent people have become even dumber than the dumb frogs…



A scientist wanted to prove that frogs die in hot water. He took boiling water in a pot . He took 10 frogs and threw them into the pot, all the frogs jumped out within seconds and not one of them died.

So then he took cold water in a pot and put the 10 frogs in that water, the frogs stayed in the pot and enjoyed the water, now he put a small burner under the pot… the temperature of the water started rising slowly and the frogs got adjusted to it…they were enjoying …slowly, the temperature rose to a considerable amount and all the frogs died, but the funny and surprising part was that not one frog made an attempt to jump.


In the same way the situation we are creating is causing threat to our very existence. The main cause for these things to happen is obviously our over consumerist lifestyle.

These people don’t see the need for pure water, good air and healthy food; all they really care about and need is MONEY. They are not bothered about becoming impotent nor are they ashamed about eating medicines. These people believe more in mediclaim rather than exercising and staying healthy. These people are not ashamed of their pot-bellies nor are they worried about their diseases. Diabetes, blood pressure is very normal to them. In fact angioplasty, angiography, by-pass surgery is like a medal for these people. These people get their water through water bottles, air through filtered AC’s. These people are not ashamed to pollute, neither to stay in that polluted environment.

These super-intelligent species have not only become dumb but also stupid. Most of them do not want to listen, hear or talk about water, food, air and the environment. On the contrary, most of them are busy in finding out the best car or TV or mobile in the market; from all of these gadgets to what is happening in the lives of bollywood and Hollywood personalities!

They are not interested in the farmer’s suicides, soils losing fertility, loosing various plant and animal species every day. All they talk about is cakes, ice-creams, pizzas and pastas. They will talk about the share market. They will talk about the cricket matches.

They can’t leave their room till they apply sunscreen on them.

They don’t leave till they bathe themselves in deodorants and perfumes but feel nauseated if they smell cow’s urine or cow dung.

They don’t bother to see how many birds, jungles, trees, animals are vanishing due to their lifestyle.


Papa papa mere futureke bareme kya socha hai? There are many insurance companies who advertise like this. But unfortunately not a single company is showing us the environmental future nor are we interested in knowing it.

God knows what these people do for whole day, but everybody is traveling through various modes like cars, rickshaws, buses, scooters throughout there life. Never do they have to work in the bright sunshine nor do they ever sweat over due to the hard work. Dressed in a Suit, polished boot, sunglasses on their eyes, suitcase in their hand and talking on mobile phone is the common scene for these people traveling in the car who are known as consultants, officer, leader, industrialist….

Rich nations, rich companies, rich people all over the world work in tandem in a way which will help them to become more rich. They develop things and techniques and advertise them in such way that all other people become mad for them. On becoming rich these people have to go to foreign countries for the picnics, for shopping, for business talks, for education. Rich people have to throw five star parties on and off to celebrate various occasions from marriages to their birthdays. They are compelling even gods like Saibaba to wear golden ornaments. They go by air to meet their god; they buy special quota ticket over there. I don’t think god will also dare to not take care of these people. After all, the entire world is run by these people!!!!!

Air-conditioned malls, multiplexes, hoardings, sports stadiums …there is wastage and wastage everywhere without caring for nature. These people have designed the system in such way that living in the villages is becoming difficult. Cities have 24 hour electricity supply, wide cement roads, big hospitals, schools, colleges. On the other side load shedding is common for the villagers. You will understand the importance of water only when you see girls or ladies with 3-4 water vessels on the head moving around for 4-5 kms. Boys and girls walk few kms. daily to attend the school. Forget about the hospitals, small dispensary is a dream for most of the villages.

Sitting in the AC office you work or you don’t work you are going to get thousands of rupees (sorry lacs of rupees) while villagers who are working in the sunlight, who don’t destroy the nature much, never comes out of the loans, banks, schemes throughout his lifetime.


You must be thinking why do I get angry about this?

When I started doing some study about the environmental changes we are facing in last few decades some alarming things have came across to me.

As seen in the movies often the most sincere, well behaved person turns out to be a villain. Similarly, I was surprised to see that this white collared affluent lifestyle is the real cause of the cancer to the earth.

You will also be surprised to see the havoc these people have caused in last few years by there needs and demands. Earth is on the verge of crumbling down due to the continuous resource demands by these people. These people’s unnatural habits and systems have broken the thousand year old traditional systems all over the world. Chemical farming has pushed farmers on the doors of suicide, soils are loosing their productivity, water is getting scarce. This anti-natural  lifestyle is burning 90 million barrels of oil every day, it is burning millions of tons of coal every day, it is cutting few thousand acres of forests everyday  to have furniture, to have building material, to run their wood fired boilers. In the name of development, you can see the rising number of automobiles, air travels, high rise buildings, wide huge roads and rise in the five star culture. After seeing all this I now have guarantee about the shameless behavior of the brainless frogs.

So dear friends this is the real villain, this is the real culprit which is responsible for the ill health of our mother earth, destruction of the nature, pollution of air, desertification of fertile soils, ground water table recession, loss of millions of species of plants/animals.


Cancer is still a threatening word even to modern science. What are the causes of it? How does it spread? What are the remedies for it? These questions have not been satisfactorily solved even by the modern science. In cancerous growth few cells in the body start growing in uncontrolled manner and body metabolism starts going down every day by supplying the demands of these cancer cells. Cancer cells keeps on growing and spreading till last minute. Such is the cancer which kills the patient in most of the cases.


Mother earth is ill. She has a fever. Her irritability is causing storms every now and then. Her soil is loosing its productivity. Lots of her kids (various plant/animal species) are vanishing daily , air pollution, soil erosion, melting of snowcaps are various signs which indicates towards the ill health of mother nature.


If we want development these things don’t matter


These are all stories made by few environmentalist nothing is happening.

Such kind of thousands of opinions will be heard on these issues. But one thing is common and that is most of the people are not interested in this issue whether they are city dwellers or villagers, whether they are educated or uneducated.


After the discovery of coal and petroleum produce and many more inventions after that have destroyed the cultures and traditions which were giving at most importance to the mothernature. In fact these cultures and traditions are supposed to be outdated now a days. Money is the new tool in the hands of these monkeys who are creating havoc all over the world.


Height of nonsense is creation of cities – these are the places where those people live who don’t keep any relation with the nature. In fact these people cause the most destruction of nature every minute every second. It is mother earth’s misfortune that these people have money in plenty. These people are not only addicted to the money but their skill of luring the others is also remarkable. Power of this money is enabling them to destroy surrounding nature in the name of so called development. Unfortunately number of these people and their power is increasing all over the world. Due to this even other people are getting dragged into their system. Eg. Farmers and other villagers who were respecting their nature is getting carried away by these people’s preaching and this has accelerated the ill effects on the nature. In fact due to declining nature these nature driven cultures and people have been affected worst. They are on the verge of committing suicides; many of them are running away to the cities in the hope of better life. Most of villagers now think that their whole survival depends on these city people, on the subsidies given by them, on the market run by them. This reminds me of a movie in which hero hands over file of a villain to the corrupt police commissioner. And soon these people who were once upon a time were known as Baliraja etc. after coming to the cities start living as a watchman, as a driver, as a labour, as a milkman, as a vegetable vendour… where there is no respect for the nature, no care for the nature. But remember one thing even these people start destroying the nature at the same speed because even their food comes from 1500 km their water comes from 50-100 km, electricity has to travel for 1000s of km to light their houses. Government has to provide them kerosene, lpg, petrol, diesel to run their show. These things are bought from thousands of km. In this manner they also start destruction of nature and start living life which has neither self esteem nor any respect.


Water this is the lifeline for all the living creatures. Water flowing through springs, rivers is responsible for sustaining lifecycles of almost all species. Our past time cultures were mostly build along the riverbanks. Since they were knowing the importance of rivers neither did they disturb rivers by cutting the forests nor did they throw their shit into it. In fact all rivers were sacredly called as mother by those people.


We can just have a look into the today’s scenario.

Almost all over the world rivers are on the verge of death. They are polluted. Unlimited deforestation, soil erosion are disturbing them. On top of it we humans are throwing our sewage into it. Tons of sand excavation and building dams are few last nails in their coffin. No body will come to know when these dying rivers will vanish. Third world war will be for water is being predicted by few experts. Now things are moving in that direction at brisk speed. Ground water table is going down, drinking water is becoming a scarcity,increasing number of water tankers everywhere are clear indicators of unavoidable desertification of Indiain near future. For this water fiasco again you will see villain is that same lifestyle. Unabated deforestation, water schemes for chemical farming and for cities. Press the button and get water that is why these people don’t respect water as scarce resource. They don’t feel ashamed to pump it from 400-800 feet nor to carry it for few hundred km. Their fertilizers and pesticides have polluted most of the water bodies. While drainage effluent has killed all major rivers and dams.


Air pollution has reached, sorry sorry it is scaling new and new heights everyday in almost all the cities. Most of the cities have air pollution much above the safe limits. CO, benzene and other particles are responsible for respiratory problems as well cancer in the people. Unfortunately small kids are more vulnerable for this. Friends again villain is same. Their vehicles, air travels, factories, coal burning in various plants and on top of this destruction of air purifying forests. This unabated lifestyle has caused almost 100% rise in the CO2 level which is one of the major reason for global warming. God alone knows, how many birds have lost their lives and how many plant species have become extinct due to this air pollution. Friends remember one thing you don’t expect any solution from them. They will rather carry cylinder with O2 with them. They will put few more ACs in their house, office or cars.


Food – food production of the world has peaked in 2006. 2009 world bank report is saying 1 person out of 6 is underfed. Poor people, poor countries all over the world are being affected by this. You will notice that prices of all food items have gone up and are sky rocketing every day. Pulses, sugar, wheat, vegetables …almost everywhere.

What might be the reasons. Fertile soils have become salty and desertification is looming on many of these fertile lands. Chemical farming has taken us to the trap of less fertile soil, ill health of crops, more use of pesticides and water – further loss of earth worms and soil bacteria - leading to irreversible deathtrap for the farmers who once upon a time were respecting the nature, were taking care of not breaking its cycles by refeeding the soils with plenty of organic fertilizers. Previously farmers were respecting the nature by taking season wise crops, they were caring for the soil by proper crop rotation.   


Have you noticed the change in the seasons. Erratic monsoon showers, shrinking winter, torrid summers are making life miserable for the farmers who are already being panicked by soil condition. Water table going down, no water from winter mist, evaporation losses are many fold. This stormy situation has really put farmers in a pitiable position. Money lenders, banks, govt loans and weaving of loans have become part and parcel of their life.


So friends now you can only decide who is the real villain ?


This article has not been written to insult anybody. In fact I request all of you to introspect yourselves.

I don’t want to discuss or debate on the issues covered in the article. But I will be definitely happy if you

 at least once in your life time try

**To cloth our naked mother earth by being instrumental in reforestation

**To do farming without disturbing nature / soil

**To experience environment friendly lifestyle

**To live as a responsible citizen as far as nature is concerned

**To live in a pollution free atmosphere

**To eat pesticide free food

**Turn soil upside down before you go into the soil.

**Caress your mother earth before it is too late for her or for you