New Delhi, July 6: Leading a plantation drive to mark ‘Van Mahotsav’ in the national capital Wednesday, Environment Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said that our ancestors handed us pure environment as heritage and there is a felt need to protect the environment properly. He also pointed out we did not pay much attention to whatever our ancestors had told us and it’s the only reason that the threats of climate change and global warming have arisen today.
Addressing the gathering, Minister stressed that the Ministry has taken a decision that all the work related to environmental protection must be taken up as a movement all over the country.
Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “I am glad that different organisations have participated in the plantation drive today and these organisations will develop environment protection as a new movement in their respective areas. The plantation drive is a token programme. In the days to come, we are drawing up several programmes that will make our environment pollution free”.
Environment Minister informed the gathering that the Ministry is preparing a databank of doable which all the people from children to senior citizens can take up on their own. “The databank will be presented before the people to enhance awareness and also to educate people on environment-related issues and create an environmentally sensitive society”, he added.
The Environment Minister pointed out that our ancestors had handed over a pure environment as a heritage and had given some principles of living, with the help of which environment can be protected properly.
Reiterating that environment protection is in our DNA, the Minister asserted “there is a tradition of feeding the ants and birds in our country and thus, protection of flora and fauna is inherent in our culture”. Van Mahotsav is usually observed in the first week of July every year and is celebrated on different days in different parts of India. The objective behind celebrating Van Mahotsav is to keep local people involved in plantation drives and spread environmental awareness. Dr Harsh Vardhan urged the people to become ‘Green Ambassadors’ and participate actively in plantation drives during the period of monsoon in keeping with the spirit of Van Mahotsav.
‘Van Mahotsav’ had marked its first beginning in the year 1950 with a tree plantation drive in which national leaders participated. Then Agriculture Minister Dr K.M. Munshi started the celebration of ‘Van Mahotsav’ to create enthusiasm among masses for forest conservation and planting trees. Since then the festival was simultaneously celebrated in other states in India.