By Odisha Story Bureau, New Delhi:
Swacchta Pakhwada in Environment Ministry Concludes, But Cleanliness Campaign to Continue Uninterrupted Throughout the Year
Exhorting the people to undertake one small environment-friendly act every day, Environment Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan has invited people to share any environment-friendly act with the Ministry on the website. Addressing a large gathering at the concluding function of the Ministry’s Swacchhta Pakhwada at the National Zoological Park here today, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said that the Ministry will publicise such environment-friendly acts with the people of the country. The Minister also said that 35 senior officers of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change will work in the campaign together to galvanise it into a peoples’ movement and take the Swacchhta Abhiyaan to 125 crore people of the nation. ‘The officers will involve State forest officers, officials from other institutions under the Ministry, school and college students, scouts and guides, NSS and common people’, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said. The Minister referred to the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of delivering a New India by the year 2022 and added that though Swacchhta Pakhwada concludes today, the spirit of the campaign will continue uninterrupted throughout the year.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan emphasised that today, when the entire world discusses issues related to climate change, global warming and environment protection, it looks with hope towards India. “The world believes that India’s culture and philosophy possesses the inspiration and energy, which can spell welfare of the entire mankind”, the Minister said.
“Protection of environment, forests, nature and rivers has been taught to us by our ancestors. The inherent richness and strength of our culture is our legacy. The day we renew the pledge to protect the environment, we will be able to regain the old glory”, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said.
The Minister pointed that the concluding function of Swacchta Pakhwada has been organised at the National Zoological Park to celebrate the birth of a baby hippopotamus in the Zoo.
Speaking on the occasion, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Ajay Narayan Jha said that World Environment Day falls in the middle of Swacchta Pakhwada. The Secretary added that like the ecosystem of the environment, the Ministry also has an ecosystem in each state, comprising various institutions – Central Pollution Control Board, State Pollution Control Boards, Forest Survey of India, Botanical Survey of India, Zoological Survey of India, Eco-clubs NGOs and this strength needs to be connected to the cleanliness campaign.
As part of Swacchhta Pakhwada, several activities including tree plantation, ‘Shram Daan’ and cleaning of waste were undertaken at NOIDA on June 9, at Lodhi Garden on June 12, at Indraprastha Park on June 13 and in Nehru Park on June 14. Another feature of Swacchhta Pakhwada includes cleaning of four railway stations by the Science Express Climate Action Special train, which is presently running in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Some of the prominent themes of Swacchta Pakhwada include – Plastic free Tiger Reserve/Protected Areas/National Parks, under which all tiger reserves shall ensure cleanliness and be declared plastic free by 31.03.2018; “Bring back waste” along with memories from nature visit; Cleanliness around the lakes and rivers in cities, towns and villages; Five beaches in five States/Union Territories to be taken up for cleaning and to be made “Trash Free”.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan also administered a Green Pledge to reuse and reduce the waste, plant more trees and conserve energy and water, on the occasion. Earlier, the Environment Minister and other senior officers planted saplings at the Delhi Zoo.
Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Shri Parameswaran Iyer also spoke on the occasion. Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Smt. Amita Prasad made a presentation titled “Swacchh Bharat-Harit Bharat” to the gathering. Director, National Zoological Park, Ms. Renu Singh gave the vote of thanks.
Director General of Forests and Special Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Siddhanta Das, Special Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Rajani Ranjan Rashmi and other senior officers of MoEFCC, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation and hundreds of school students were among those present in the gathering.