CHENNAI: With their hands wrapped around small green saplings, they walked over 2.5 km from the Lighthouse to the Labour statue in the morning. Why? June 5 marks World Environment Day and students from different schools and nursing colleges in the city came together to spread awareness about the need to protect nature.
Organised by India Development Foundation (IDF), the rally was flagged off by D Venkataraman, director, Lighthouses & Lightship, who said. “There’s awareness about environmental issues in India. But in comparison to western countries, it is less. We should make our surrounding cleaner by segregating waste and disposing it properly. Plastics should be avoided. Water bodies should be kept clean and should be preserved,” he said, and continued to march along with 400 others.
Talking to Tina Subramanian, member of nature club, Sri Shanthi Anand Vidhyala, we learn that the school makes sure every child plants a tree of their own. They have special classes where they are taught about the importance of plants and the environment.
“You need a lot of dedication to bring back the lush greenery into the world. If everyone plants a sapling of their own and takes care of it like their own child, I think we can make a lot of difference,” she smiled.
Meanwhile, S Sreeram, manager, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, IDF, was seen handing saplings to people who took a minute to observe the proceedings. “We need to plant more! It is our responsibility to not only protect our species but all the other living creatures too. Our hope now is to spread awareness through youngsters who we believe will pass on the message to everyone they cross paths with.”
Sreeram also told City Express about his unsuccessful plans to get a few restaurants in the city to look at different ways to save water. “When you order a plate of dosas after eating idlis, use the same plate! Imagine, if the hundreds of restaurants in the city follow this rule, how much water and labour can be saved?” he said.
Theme: ‘Zero Tolerance’
The theme for the World Environment Day 2016 is “Zero Tolerance for the illegal wildlife trade”. As per the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP), the booming illegal trade in wildlife products is eroding Earth’s precious biodiversity, robbing us of our natural heritage and pushing a lot of species towards the brink of extinction.