R LESTER MAKANG
UKHRUL: If there’s still a glimmer of hope in the fight for protection of Mother Earth and its countless endangered species, it is the clarion call for all to join hands. In an anticipated network to achieve the goal through mass awareness and actions, the scenario now entirely hinges on the strength of concerted efforts.
This was the underlying concept throughout as the 49th Anniversary of the International Earth Day 2019 took place at Scholars’ Pakshimi High School in Wino Tang, Ukhrul here on Monday.
Held under the global theme ‘Protect Our Species’, the commemoration event was jointly organised by Participatory Action for Sustainable Development Organisation (PASDO) and Principals’ Association of Recognised Schools (PARS).
Speaking at the occasion as chief guest, DFO Ukhrul Shanngam S stated that it is a God’s will that human beings dominate the earth and all other species in it, while noting that we humans are thus supposed to be the guardians of the earth.
He however lamented that mankind have assumed themselves the role of a master and are behaving like one on this earth.
Questioning if the earth is only for humans, he maintained that mankind have become a hurdle by interfering with the nature’s law and process of sustenance.
The forest officer then urged one and all to collectively develop belongingness of the earth, which is home to not just human beings but millions of other lives and species, by taking an action together at a time.
“One such step could be to ban use of plastic carry bags immediately,” Shanngam suggested, and added that while banning the product may not be too hard, the impact it has on our lives is disastrous.
In his keynote address, Gajendra P Mohanty project director PASDO, highlighted that though the first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970, it became a global observance after the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on 22nd April 2009 declaring 22 April as the international Mother Earth Day.
Explaining that the interdependent relationship which exists between all the species is a nature’s gift to planet earth, he said that mankind have failed to acknowledge earth’s role in sustaining them all and upset the balance of nature.
Referring to this year’s theme, Mohanty informed that the same is mainly focused on saving species which are on the verge of extinction due to climate change, deforestation, pollution and illegal poaching by human beings.
“But amidst all these, the good news is something could still be done about the grim situation only if we all join hands,” he exhorted the crowd of participants, most of whom were students coming from different schools in the town.
“Let’s work together to educate and raise awareness about the accelerating rate of extinction of countless species and protect broad groups of species as well as individual species and their habitats. Let’s together build and activate a global movement that embraces nature and its values, by encouraging individual actions such as adopting a plant based diet and stopping pesticide and herbicide use,” he urged the gathering.
As a part of the observance, a slogan competition based on the theme was held to encourage the students in the activities of saving species and environment in the district. Ngasin Jajo, Std IX of Little Angel English School walked away with the first position by coining the slogan “A heart beats in animals, the same in us”, while Tonmayo Muinao, Std X of Scholars Pakshimi High School and Thoibi Kshetrimayum, Std VIII of Oriental Naga Academy, were adjudged second and third positions with their slogans “We are a family, don’t let any species go extinct,” and “Kill selfishness, not species” respectively.
Five other students received consolation prizes in the competition which was judged by NPMHR senior member Hungyohung.
PASDO team and Students from Scholars Pakshimi High School also presented different skits, choreography and song items based on the theme. The observance culminated with distribution of tree saplings to hundreds of student participants.
Source: The People’s Chronicle