It takes courage to stand up against the wrong, and it takes even more courage if the wrongdoer is someone extremely close to you. Like your own father! A 16-year-old Haryana girl showed such bravery when she reported her father to the authorities for stubble burning, an act that is extremely harmful for the environment.
Sonali Sheokand, who is from Jind district of Haryana, will be honoured by The Haryana State Pollution Control Board with a cash reward of Rs 11,000 for her act.
Image Source: By CIAT (Uploaded by John Cummings) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The officials of the board believe that the recognition Sonali will receive because of the honour will create awareness among people against burning stubble. During the harvesting season, stubble burning is a common activity among farmers, even though it causes pollution.
After Sonali reported the case to the authorities, the board took appropriate action by slapping a penalty of Rs 2500 on her father Shamsher Sheokand. The standard ten student told Hindustan Times that her family was angry with her over the incident.
“For once I felt I made a mistake by reporting him. But after everyone praised me, I felt good”, she said.
When asked what made her take the step, Sonali said she had read in the newspapers about harmful effects of stubble burning. She is keen on protecting the environment and wants to do something for its conservation. She had warned her father against burning the paddy residue, but when he ignored her, she went to the board.
Now that he has understood what his daughter did was right, Sheokand’s anger has faded.
“When I got to know that my own daughter has complained about me, I went completely mad. She added to my tensions. But then, I realised I was adding to pollution that may cause asthma to many others like me,” he said.
This came in the wake of the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) strict instructions for the states of Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh against the large-scale burning of crop stubble. The NGT has directed the states to comply with its order of taking punitive action against those who burn agricultural waste.
Know more about NGT here.