On the occasion of Republic Day 2019, the Government of India has reiterated its commitment towards battling climate change and bringing sustainability in the society. “Our cultures, traditions, and ideal in life place high importance on public service. We’ve had respect for individuals, institutions which were dedicated to public service above boundaries of their duties, be it the United Nation’s peacekeeping mission, tackling climate change, aid for cooperation, and delivering relief during times of natural disasters,” President of India Ram Nath Kovind has said in his Republic Day speech.

The announcement attains significance, coming as it does as India celebrates its Republic Day. The way climate change effects are being felt across India, this item should be on the top of the agenda. The government must think of carrying out development in a manner that it does not impact the environment adversely. In India, regions have been experiencing drastic effects of climate change which are manifest in forms including floods and record heat waves.

Scientists aver that due to global warming there’ll be increased likelihood of extreme weather events. Floods actually affected more than 41 million people in India and other neighbouring countries such as Nepal and Bangladesh. Heavy rains as well as floods have wreaked havoc in India, once again bringing several parts of India to a standstill. Over 1000 people died in the floods in monsoons. These are the official figures. Thousands have been reported missing, swept away by the deluge and the waters.

Death toll has been rising as a result of such drastic impact of climate change. As per a report by the United Nations, more than 41 million people in India, Bangladesh, as well as Nepal are affected due to flooding and landslides that resulted from the monsoon (which last from June to September). In Delhi too, an alert had to be issued by the government after water levels of Yamuna crossed the danger marks. Moreover, average temperatures have been rising at a steady pace, resulting in record breaking heat waves across the country. It is high time to gear up for the challenge and there could have been no better occasion than the Republic Day.