To generate the awareness on environment related issues, Society for Promotion of Science & Technology in India (SPSTI) in association with Chandigarh Chapter of NASI initiated a series of events on environmental awareness. Mr. M.C. Mehta, an eminent environmental lawyer and a Padma Shri & Ramon Magsaysay awardee, delivered a lecture on Ecosystem Restoration on June 06, 2021. The lecture was supported by NCSTC, Department of Science & Technology, Govt. of India.
Shri Dharam Vir, President of SPSTI introduced about the need for such awareness activities. He emphasized that Environment Day gives us an opportunity to discuss various issues and create awareness among the common people. Prof. R.K. Kohli, Chairman of Chandigarh Chapter of NASI, talked about Ecosystem Restoration for Continued Ecosystem Services. He brought to the focus the announcement of the start of the UN decade of Ecosystem Restoration from today. He shared that the last decade was on Desertification. He emphasized that unless we all join hands by not wasting our natural resources, government alone can’t ensure safe environment as enshrined in the constitution of India. According to him conservation of soil and management of water are the key issues that can restore the ecosystem.
Prof. R. Baskar from Environmental Studies Department of GJU Hisar introduced the eminent speaker who is Ramon Magsaysay and Goldman Environmental Prize Awardee, Padma Shri Mr. M.C. Mehta who is a lawyer by profession and a committed environmentalist by choice.
M C Mehta spoke about the recent disposal of bodies in Ganga in the corona times and the subsequent contamination was sad and shameful. He asked an important question as why our environment is degrading inspite of having constitution, special laws, fundamental rights and duties. He claimed that our rivers are no longer rivers as we have polluted themcompletely. The water table has fallen to 400-500 feet and has become unfit for drinking. He emphasized that there should be regular awareness programs on radio, satellite channels and other platforms to deal with these situations. He called academicians as thinkers who are soul of the nation and suggested constructing monitoring cells at university levels to make people aware about environment and implement teaching of environment education at all levels, where environment is not only taught as a subject but is also put into practice.
On being asked by Srishti Ranjan, a student of seventh class from Mumbai, whether tourism is in favor of our environment, Mr. Mehta said it is rather eco-tourism which is beneficial for the people. Dr. Naresh Bhardwaj of Green Earth NGO talked about the non-implementation of three years’ environmental curriculum on which Prof. Baskar & all other administrators and academicians consented to act on this perspective. The session ended with vote of thanks by Prof. Keya Dharamvir, General Secretary, SPSTI.
The session was attended by 471 participants on Zoom and many on Facebook page of the SPSTI.