Monday, April 12, 2021

Proud Moment

One thing that makes a teacher's chest swell in pride and joy is when their students do well be it in the exam, competition, or in life. I've had such moments too as a teacher. Once there was a boy called Jambay Kinley I taught during my prac at Wangdue LSS back in 2009. He went on to top all Bhutan Class X and Class XII board exams later. But you know, teachers can already prefigure that each student they cross their paths with is meant for greatness. And here's an award-winning letter (at the 47th International letter-writing competition organized by Universal postal union and Bhutan Post in May 2018) penned by Tshering Yangchen Lhamo. I taught her English for two years at Samtse LSS. I'm posting this letter (as it is) here for the beautiful message it contains. 

Samtse Higher Secondary School 

Samtse, Bhutan 

27th March, 2018

Dear readers

I have been a letter throughout my life. I have been travelling since the inception of the civilization. During this period, I have been seeing a lot of wonderful as well as the worst changes in the world, some of which are unimaginable. However, the most common, important and ignored problem everywhere, from my point of view, has been the increase in plastic pollution. Plastic has captivated the land, air and water since time immemorial.

In the past, during the time of your ancestors, I have not seen a single piece of plastic in your surroundings. The environment was clean, fresh and healthy. The air was clean, the oceans and seas were as blue as the sky and everywhere I went, there were beautiful flowers, which would enlighten me from within. Life thrived with vitality and bountiful nature. Different types of trees, flowers, animals, birds and fishes brought glory to the world. The mountain peaks would stand tall with the nestling snow shining and sparkling like jewels. The earth itself was heavenly then. But now, I am grieved to see that everything has changed, for the worst.

At present, everywhere I go. I see plastics, both on land and in the rivers and oceans. Moreover, we never know, but there might be plastics even on the moon. That would totally break my heart it if actually happens. Nowadays, the air is ladened with dirt and the land and water bodies are all filled with plastic products. Dirt controls the land, water and air. How powerful are thy hands? And how ignorant thy minds? Even the food you eat and water you drink are not safe and are becoming harmful.

All my life, I have seen these things happening right in front of me. I have seen people ever using plastics. How shameful it is! While shopping, they put whatever they buy in a plastic bag, even after having a basket in their hands. And it’s infuriating to know that its because plastics are very cheap. But, does it mean people can overuse plastics? Definitely not! Then, I have seen children throwing wrappers and bottles wherever they want to, but not in the bins even when it is right near them. This surprised me the most. Some do not even dare to look at all the plastic thrown in the surroundings, rather than pick those up.

Due to people’s ignorance on the effect of plastic pollution, animals and humans are dying. Ground water has been polluted and it has become very difficult and expensive to clean the affected areas. Feeling depressed for these situations is an understatement words are just not enough to describe how disappointed I am too see these things happening.

Nonetheless, I have also encountered some people, who are concerned for this world, doing something great for this world in their own little ways. They do not use plastic bags while shopping and try to recycle and reuse the plastic products they have. Moreover, they involve themselves in cleaning and reducing waste and educating businesses and communities on the effects of plastic pollution. This people make me feel swollen with pride and gives some hope that there are good people in this world.

If everyone tries to ‘reduce, refuse, reuse and recycle’ plastic products, won’t this world become as clean and heavenly as it was before? Think about it. These small things can bring about great changes in the world such as preventing epidemics and problems related to health because, these days, even bottled water have plastic products in them. We can prevent the death of so many living beings and most importantly, we can prevent global warming, climate change and acid rain.

Basically, what I strongly want to say is that you need to do everything you can to reduce plastic pollution because I have heard from one of letter-friends that since the 1950s, on estimated 6.3 billion tons of plastics have been produced out of which only 9% has been recycled and 12% incinerated. The remaining 79% have been left as it is. Mother Teressa has truly said that “if every person in the world would clean their own door step, the whole world would be clean.” So let us all work together to keep our earth clean and green throughout, with no plastic on sight, lets unburden the burden collectively.

Thanking you
Yours Faithfully

Tshering Yangchen Lhamo
Class IX A

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