The Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Bhupender Yadav presided over the award Ceremony for Trash to Treasure Hackathon, Dharti Kare Pukaar, Youth Conclave & Inter-School Painting Competition, held today, on the eve of World Environment Day, in the presence of Minister of State, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, and senior officials of the government.
Speaking at the ceremony, Shri Yadav congratulated Meri LiFE initiative of the government, as the application has recorded 1 crore 90 lakh participants, and 87 lakh events, which is a milestone in environmental consciousness. He said that not only the winners, but also all participants need to be commended, as they have shown their dedication towards environment protection.
Calling conscious consumption as a big challenge, he expressed that there are limited resources available on the planet and that to tackle global warming, biodiversity loss and pollution, adopting environmentally friendly lifestyle is the way ahead. He spoke about the initiatives launched under the leadership of the Hon’ble Prime Minister, such as International Solar Alliance, Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure among others, which have led to India achieving many of its Nationally Determined contribution targets well ahead of time.
Shri Yadav said that while mitigation measures are a part of government policy, adaptation measures are a part of societal behaviour, environmental consciousness is the responsibility of every individual, and that there is a need to take Mission LiFE forward to make it a public movement.
Appreciating the participation of the youth from all parts of the country, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey said that climate change is a global challenge and yuva shakti has a major role to play in tackling it. Though e-waste is an emerging issue, it has now become a big problem and hoped that the solutions which have come out from the hackathon will help in addressing the problem to an extent and help create awareness on the importance of converting waste to wealth. He said that the youth have shown the capability to lead, and recounted examples of historical Indian figures such as Chanakya and Guru Dronacharya, to suggest the importance of timely guidance and encouragement, which the government is ready to provide.
Taking inspiration from the declaration of the Prime Minister in COP26 and the role of youth in Amrit Kaal, Shri Choubey appealed to the children to take the call for LiFE forward to every town and village in the country, in their own unique ways.
During the award ceremony, prizes were given to winners of National Ideation Hackathon organised by CPCB for coming out with innovative solutions for battery and electronic waste management. Awards were also conferred on the winners of the inter-school painting competition on Clean and Healthy Oceans, organised for students for classes 8th to 12th, by National Museum of Natural History in collaboration with UNEP India, and on the 5 Youth Icon Award winners of Youth Conclave, organised by Indian Institute of Forest Management.
National winners of National Level Nukkad Natak Competition “Dharti Kare Pukaar”, Kikani Vidhya Mandir, Coimbatore, performed on stage with their act focusing on LiFE actions, and were also felicitated in the event. The competition saw participation of over 6 lakh students, and was organised by National Museum of Natural History.
Ms. Leena Nandan, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests & Environment (M/o EF&CC) underscored that the challenge is infinite, however India has shown the way, with the immense participation in LiFE related activities in the past month a testimony to India’s determination. She said that the winners of various events are now ambassadors of LiFE and need to spread the message far and wide.
Ms. Inger Andersen, Executive Director, UNEP through a video message expressed UNEP’s support for India’s LiFE initiatives and said that actions under LiFE can not only help beat plastic pollution, the theme for this year’s World Environment Day, but can also help tackle the triple planetary crisis, and that India’s role would be vital in this fight.
Ms. Cynthia McCaffrey, Country Representative, UNICEF India laid emphasis on the role of children in the fight against climate change. She was pleased to see the involvement of children in India’s fight through various initiatives, and urged the children to convince their friends and family to adopt a sustainable lifestyle and support Mission LiFE. The event saw participation from students and teachers from across India, UNICEF, UNEP, officials from MoEF&CC and CPCB.