"People are exploiting nature and sustainable development can only be achieved through conservation. Mother Earth is our home and everybody has to work toward preserving the ecological system. In an attempt to develop the economy everyone thinks about money and in turn exploiting nature. But the real economic development only comes through sustainable development," he said.
    
The Dalai Lama was addressing a gathering at the tenth T N Khoshoo Memorial Award and Lecture on "Sacred Values and Conservation".
    
Exhorting people to preserve the environment the Tibetan spiritual leader warned that, "Too much exploitation of the nature will leave our next generation resource less."
    
The Dalai Lama also stressed on the need to reduce the gap between the rich and poor in India as "it is morally wrong", he said.
    
"Whenever I see homeless people on the street begging my heart gets pained. The rich have more than they need and the poor don't even have the basic amenities which in turn makes them feel jealous of the rich. Why such discrimination?" he lamented, calling for efforts to upliftment the poor.
    
The Dalai Lama said that we should follow the practice of "oneness" to cure the problems like crime, corruption and war as they all bloom out of discrimination.
    
The Dalai Lama said that he disapproves of the idea of splurging money on elaborate marriage functions.
    
"People spend so much during the marriages just to show their status and wealth. And then after some time, some of the marriages fail and people divorce. This is like cheating God as you take the oath to be with your partner lifelong at the time of marrying him/her," he said.
    
He suggested that instead of elaborate celebrations during marriage time, a couple tying the knot should provide one time meal to the poor "as a meaningful practice".
    
The event was organized by a Bangalore-based Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, a think tank with activities in the Himalayas and the Western Ghats.

(Agencies)

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