A true student of environment needs to be an activist who is learning through doing. What is vitally at stake is the change of mind-set, which is best introduced at the level of the child education. Those who are truly dedicated to such activism can take a leaf from the success story of the Plachimada panchayat functionaries (in Kerala) who dared a multinational corporation (the Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt. Ltd.) and stopped the latter from pumping water for commercial use.
Importantly, the courts have increasingly applied the “doctrine of public trust” in disposing of cases arising out of privatisation of natural resources. This doctrine rests on the principle that certain resources like air, sea, waters and forests have such a great importance to the people as a whole that it would be wholly unjustified to make them a subject of private ownership.
In other words, we can now safely say that the public has a right to expect certain lands and natural areas (to retain their natural characteristics) to be protected by the stale in the interest of general people (against any attempt by some powerful moneyed groups) to privately occupy.
You should note the Supreme Court’s views (AIR 1988) in the M.C. Mehta vs. Union of India, which are:
“Having regard to the need for protecting and improving the environment which is considered a fundamental duty under the Constitution, it is the duty of the central government to direct all the educational institutions to teach at least one hour a week lessons relating to the protection and improvement of the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife in the first ten classes”.
Realising the significance of environment education, the government has introduced it in the school curricula.