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Hariyali Mahotsav: ‘We need to not only plant trees but also nurture them,’ says Ashwini Kumar Choubey

Ashwini Kumar Choubey, stated that combating climate change is one of the world's major challenges. He echoed the Prime Minister's call for a Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE) and emphasized the significance of trees in Indian Vedas and mythology. The Minister expressed his intention to plant trees continuously for the next two months and urged the nation to not only plant trees but also nurture them.

Shivam Dwivedi
Hariyali Mahotsav at Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi
Hariyali Mahotsav at Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi

The Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change organized "Hariyali Mahotsav" - Tree Festival - yesterday at Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi to commemorate the nation's enthusiasm for planting trees and saving forests. The event was organized in collaboration with the State Governments, NCT Government of Delhi Police Institutions, and Delhi Schools to conduct plantation drives on the occasion and raise awareness about the importance of trees in protecting our environment for current and future generations.

Bhupender Yadav, Union Minister of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change, urged the nation to take action to green the environment, emphasising that protecting rivers, mountains, and the environment is a deeply embedded Indian sentiment, as enshrined in our national anthem 'Vande Mataram.'

He praised the thousands of schoolchildren from Delhi, Delhi Police, officials from the Delhi Forest Department, officials from the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change, civil societies/NGOs, and institutions from across the country who participated in person and virtually in the festival of "tree planting," and urged people to live environmentally friendly lifestyles in order to save our planet. Tree planting is one of the actions toward Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE) that the Prime Minister announced at CoP 26 in Glasgow, and it is critical that we all work together to move LiFE forward as a campaign.

Programme includes planning activities at 75 Nagar Vans, 75 km of road length around 75 Police establishments, 75 Delhi schools, and 75 degraded sites across the country, demonstrating that people are not only welcoming but also eager to participate in nature conservation. He praised the nation's efforts in already meeting the country's target of producing 175 GW of renewable energy and moving full force toward the renewed target of producing 500 GW of renewable energy, as announced by the Prime Minister at CoP26.

India has pledged to meet 50% of its energy needs with renewable energy by 2030. He also discussed the achievements and benefits of the Prime Minister's Soil Health Card Scheme. Approximately 23 crore soil health cards have been issued to date, demonstrating our commitment to soil health.

Referring to the Prime Minister's call for a sustainable environment, Yadav stated that we must not only progress, provide energy, and give people a decent life, but we must also resolve to save the earth. He stated that while India has 17% of the world's population, it accounts for only 4% of carbon emissions, while other developed nations with the same population share account for nearly 60% of carbon emissions. As a result, India has demonstrated to the rest of the world the importance of resource conservation. He encouraged the children to pursue careers that would allow them to contribute to green energy.

He emphasized the importance of the July 1st ban on single-use plastics and asked for citizens' shared responsibility in its full implementation. He also informed them of the efforts being directed toward the creation of alternative solutions for an eco-friendly, sustainable future. Despite the various anthropogenic challenges, India thrives with 52 tiger reserves and 31 elephant reserves, as well as many other endemic, vibrant wildlife and rich forests.

Bhupender Yadav urged students and youth to support the Prime Minister's resolve by planting trees, maintaining cleanliness, working in the field of new energy, keeping the earth green, and developing a scientific attitude to save the world while also working on their future careers.

Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, as well as Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, stated that combating climate change is one of the world's major challenges. He echoed the Prime Minister's call for a Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE) and emphasized the significance of trees in Indian Vedas and mythology. The Minister expressed his intention to plant trees continuously for the next two months and urged the nation to not only plant trees but also nurture them. 

Leena Nandan, the Secretary, stated that everyone has a relationship with nature, and today's programme not only commemorates the 75th anniversary of India's independence as 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.' She urged the children to not only resolve to plant trees but also to spread the message to everyone they meet.

Rakesh Asthana, Commissioner of Police; Chandra Prakash Goyal, Director General of Forests and Special Secretary; C.D. Singh, PCCF NCT of Delhi; and Dr. S. P. Yadavand, Additional Director General of Forests, also attended the event. Children from various Delhi schools, as well as other stakeholders, attended the celebration. The event began with a Nukkad Natak performed by students from ASN Senior Secondary School in Delhi, who delivered key messages about tree planting and eliminating plastic from our lives, as well as a pledge to save trees and protect our planet.

The programme culminated with a green concert performed by Grammy award winner and Indian music composer Ricky Kej. Because music is a powerful tool for raising awareness, especially among young people, this series of green concerts was organized to highlight the critical role of flora, fauna, and rivers in environmental and biodiversity conservation.

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