Sulagna Chattopadhyay


Geography and You,


Conserving clues to an ever changing world

During my college days we toured extensively—egged on by an inspired faculty who believed that learning resided in the outdoors. I remember the dark shafts and the stifling stillness of the Ghatshila copper mines’ innards (East Singhbhum, Jharkhand); the brightly lit humongous tunnels with freshwater pooling on the floor below the massive Himalayan gneissic mountain at Rammam hydel station (Darjeeling, West Bengal); the blistering sunshine and the red desert rocks at the Akal Fossil Park in Jaisalmer (Rajasthan)—memories that have shaped my learning. My appreciation for man’s unrelenting handiwork, of wringing out the proverbial ‘cheese from rocks’ grew by leaps and bounds. Yet I worried—was there a line between what we can do and what cannot be undone? Of course the development narrative for a nation like ours is pitched to a cacophony with multi-patriate interests looking to better lives. Amongst these however, are the soft fluted tones of a few visionaries who guide humankind to conserve that which can no longer be recreated—as it holds invaluable clues to the turmoils of our ever changing future. Dedicated to geoheritage this issue of G’nY urges all conservationists to stand together to show the world the treasures that India harbours within its verdant folds.

Happy Reading.