India and China rank 123rd and 121st in pollution control respectively, reflecting the strain rapid economic growth imposes on the environment, according to the 2010 Environmental Performance Index (EPI). The other day I travelled across India in train and was deeply pained to see dyeing industry right on the river banks besides washeman putting all the filth , huge drain was flowing just below the bridge on river Yamuna in Agra with Taj Mahal onlooking. Cant we put away our drainage system and save the rivers from ultimate death ? While going for famous evening arti of the River Ganges on Ghats of Varanashi last month I found tones of garbage , dark waters of Holy river stagnating and almost stinking While worshiping river that is what the whole lot of pujaris do but innumerable lamps lighted on small “dona “ and numerous garlands and lots of drainage water falling in holy river despite of millions of rupees spent on Ganga river project should put all Hindus in soul searching. Are we cleaning or polluting river systems ? I also visited Jammu and Vaishno devi shrine last week. Hills on way to Katra were telling sad story of destruction of forests. Building of four lane is essential but it should do minimum destruction to ecosystem. The hills around the holy temple of Mata Vaishno devi were getting dried up, vegetation cover on the holy shrine was thinner as compared to 35 years ago when I visited it and number of pilgrims was tremendous, man walking among the horses or horses walking among men ? I salute those hill people who carry pilgrims on their shoulders , clean the path to the shrine, and help people make it possible to climb to the hills. I also salute helicopter companies including Pawan Hans and other private company who keep on flying non stop whole day. Their pilots need some kind of air bridge award as they keep on carrying passengers not stop. Ground staff, police security personnel the man behind window, do their duties faithfully and with devotion. But we have to save hills and vegetation to save our places of worship for eternity. Please save hills to save ecology which hides in its womb our Gods and Goddesses . The message nature gives is clear and loud . We have to read what is written on the walls. Nature is God . And abode of God is in nature . If forests are gone, hills will succumb to silting process and land slides will play heavoc. Time is running out. Save hills and save nature and save shrines and abodes of Gods.