An essay on our fundamental duty of protecting and improving natural environment

Fundamental duties of Indian Citizens are mentioned in Article 51A under Part-IV A of the Indian Constitution. There are 11 fundamental duties mentioned there. One of them mentions protecting and improving the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures. The article discusses in detail this and the role of the individual in performing the same.


The protection and improvement of environment is now a fundamental duty under Constitution Act of 1976. There is a National Committee on Environmental Planning and Coordination that is formed by the government of India. How many of us know this? The constitution has given us some fundamental rights which we always talk about. We also should know about our fundamental duties.

The fundamental duties

These are the moral obligations of all citizens. They are intended to promote patriotism among the people. They will also be useful to maintain the unity of India. These are in Article 51A under Part-IV A of the Indian Constitution. Initially, 10 fundamental duties were added to the Indian Constitution through the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976. The 11th fundamental duty is added to the list through the 86th Amendment Act. A court can't enforce these fundamental duties. A court can do that only if they are made enforceable by the law of the parliament.

One of the important fundamental duties mentioned is to protect and improve the natural environment. As per Article 51-A (g), It is the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment. This includes forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and compassion for living creatures.

What it means

Right to life is a fundamental right as per article 21 of the Indian constitution. The right to have a clean and healthy environment is a part of this right. If we feel that it is the duty of the government to provide all of us neat and clean environment, we are wrong. All the people should cooperate with the government in this aspect. The preservation of the environment can't be thought of as a function of government alone. It is the fundamental duty of all citizens also.

Indian constitution says nobody should be deprived of their life unless otherwise found guilty by the legal procedures. Any disturbance to any element of the environment namely air, water and soil may cause problems to the environment and that will become hazardous to the lives of human beings. So, the same is included in the fundamental duties.


Environment start from deep inside the earth from the roots of different trees and extends as high as the air we breathe travels. Water resources, air, trees and earth are the constituents of the environment. The health of all these constituents of this environment will have a say on the health of the total environment. Greenhouse gasses, air and water pollution, deforestation etc. are some of the main issues that are causing problems to the environment. We human beings are responsible for all these problems. Technological developments, manufacturing industries and the ambition of human beings to have a luxurious life are the main reasons for these problems. So, as we are responsible for these problems it is our collective duty to see that the integrity of the environment is maintained.

But when we talk about this everybody says that I am a single person, how can I affect a change. But it should be remembered that a collection of droplets can make a river. We are only spoiling the environment. So, we all should unite and see that problem is fixed and the environment is protected. Every individual will have a role to play and let us introspect ourselves whether we are playing our role properly or not.

What we can do

Everyone can help the environment by adopting simple practices.
  1. Recycle, reuse, and composting are the basic principles one can adopt. If we recycle certain items, we can reduce the waste that is being generated. For example, by reprocessing, the used plastic we can reduce the generation of waste.

  2. If we reuse the same items the necessity of manufacturing new items will come down. For example, We need not manufacture more and more plastic covers if we start using cloth bags for carrying vegetables and other items from the market.

  3. Composting made with food waste will help in creating fertile soil rather than normal waste. All such small issues can be implemented by us.

  4. Another big threat to the environment is greenhouse gasses. These gases are mainly coming from the vehicles that are being used by all of us for transportation. So, we should keep this factor in our mind when we plan our travel and transportation. Travel and transportation are necessary for all of us. We should choose the least damaging way of transportation. If you can use a cycle, use it instead of a bike. Stop using a car if a bike can do. Try to use public transportation instead of personal vehicles. It is better to pool up instead of using individual cars to commute to and from the office. Always think of staying near the school of your child or near your office so that travel will be minimum.

  5. Buy locally made items so that the necessity of transporting items will get reduced.

  6. Minimising the usage of air conditioners will help the environment. Another way to help the environment is to conserve energy. Minimize the energy consumption by switching off power-consuming appliances and using them when there is a necessity only.

  7. Not throwing the waste while travelling on the roads is very good for the environment.

  8. Many of us may be smoking in public places, in fact, smoking itself is a serious threat to the environment. A responsible citizen can stop smoking on the roads and can try to stop smoking completely.


Environment is providing us with many items that are essential for our living. We have seen how costly is oxygen during pandemic times which we get always free of cost from the environment. There is no life if the environment is spoiled. So, it is correct on the part of the government to include the duty of environmental protection in fundamental duties. Let us question whether we are performing the fundamental duty properly?

Let us amend our lives by affecting small changes in our lifestyle which will help in a big way to the environment. Let us not forget our fundamental duties as responsible citizens.


Author: Umesh25 Jan 2022 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 8

Environment protection is a collective task and it is obvious that until all the citizens are aware of it and do efforts in this direction we would not be able to save our environment from degradation. Today there are so many hazardous industries which are giving out hazardous liquids and fumes and releasing it in the environment. Govt has made a lot of legislation and rules and regulations to check it at the factory or manufacturing facility level by adopting the effluent disposal techniques and each and every industry has to observe these protocols meticulously to safeguard the environment.
The individual citizen has also a great role to play as there are more than 6 billion persons living on this Earth and their combined endeavour and efforts can change it to a pleasant place to live. It is the duty of the people to teach their children and the coming generations about the importance of environment upkeep otherwise the whole humanity would be extinct one day.
We have some constitutional rights and at the same time some duties also and if we consider that Earth is for our advantage and benefit then it is imperative that we must care for it like we care for our house and personal property.

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