The desert state of Rajasthan is changing with time. Change is a natural phenomenon and is carried out by nature itself or the human beings i.e., us. While there is hardly any control over what nature has in store, we certainly can have a self discipline imposed on us. Let there be a Green revolution, a Construction and Real Estate boom and industrialization on the desert land, but if the same is done at the cost of destroying the nature, killing the heritage and wiping out the unique feature of the state—it should be overwhelmingly opposed.
The author Rajesh Kumar Ranga, a Chartered Accountant / Company Secretary profession and a resident of one of the desert cities of India, settled in New Delhi, the capital city of India has been a regular visitor of the deserts and has an immense love for them. Over the years, the disappearance of Sand Dunes and the desert in the name of urbanization, farming and industrialization is being witnessed. There used to be a time, not so long ago, when the desert and Sand Dunes were at the doorstep of the cities of Rajasthan. The roads, railway tracks and other approaches to even the big and prosperous cities of Rajasthan used to be blocked by Sand Dunes, which had to be manually removed to pave way for vehicles. This was the nature in the original, pure and virgin form. It had heart, soul, conscience, love and emotion in it. What we see today is reverse of it. The grand buildings, apartments, amusement parks, hotels, restaurants and farms have come up on the desert land. We have not left nature in its prized form to enjoy but have chosen to destruct, trash, humiliate, spoil and abuse it. The result is that the Sand Dunes have vanished and if the trend goes on, even an inhabitant of Rajasthan will have to visit Africa or Saudi Arabia to refresh his/her memories.
The traditional desert vegetables, known in local language as Sangris, Kairs, Kachri, Falis (Types of Beans) etc., have vanished from the market and their prices have sky rocketed. Number of environmentalists and desert lovers all over the world have taken note of the fact that the desert is diminishing and there is an urgent need to preserve the same. Unfortunately, nothing relevant has been done in India, in this direction. The time has come that we should take up the issue of preserving the identity, culture, tradition and values that we have inherited from the desert.
We cannot build or re-build desert.. Can We..? The other pertinent questions are: