Monday, July 05, 2010

India Water Foundation on WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY

5th June 2010

India Water Foundation, a New Delhi based non-profit civil society, hosted felicitation ceremony to felicitate Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev of Isha Foundation on the occasion of being conferred upon Indira Gandhi Pariyavaran Puruskar by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India on 5 June 2010 at New Delhi. Shri Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Minister for Water Resources and Parliamentary Affairs presided over the function. Smt. Sheila Dixit, Chief Minister of Delhi felicitated the Sadhguru.

More than 700 eminent personalities were also present at the function to support Project Green Hands initiative. The evening festivities were kicked off with beautiful and unorthodox music from Sounds of Isha, the homegrown band of Isha volunteers. Untrained in music, they played fabulous sets taking inspiration from mundane.

Padamshree Shovana Narayan’s performance touched every member of the audience with her effortless and almost spiritual dancing. The evening closed with a rousing applause for every person who took the responsibility for making a positive change in environment by planting tree.

Earlier in the day, Sadhguru J Vasudev of Isha Foundation, Coimbatore, Tamilnadu,was awarded Indira Gandhi Pariavaran Puraskar for the year 2008 in recognition of Isha Foundation’s massive ecological initiative, called ‘Project Green Hands’ to prevent and reverse environmental degradation and to enable sustainable living.Under this project, over 300,000 Isha volunteers have raised 8.2 million trees for plantation in the last 5 years across Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.

Project Green Hands is a massive people’s movement to raise the green cover of Tamil Nadu by 10 per cent. It is an environmental initiative designed to educate public, farmers and land holders to create green belts by planting trees for India’s ecological problems. This partnership would encourage the planting and harvesting of trees for a positive change in environment. The project envisions a society that develops a simple yet deep culture of care towards the environment to keep this planet livable for future generations. Since 2005, over 2 million people have joined Project GreenHands in planting 8.2 million trees in over 1,800 communities across Tamil Nadu.

Dr. Arvind Kumar, President, India Water Foundation, in his opening remarks dealt briefly with the initiatives undertaken by the Indian Water Foundation in water-related and environmental-related realms. While welcoming the Sadhguru, Smt Sheila Dixit, Chief Minister of Delhi and Honourable Union Minister for Water Resources and Parliamentary Affairs, Sh. Pawan Kumar Bansal, Dr Arvind dwelt on the theme of water conservation. He further averred that sustainable development was very essential for sustainable living. Sustaiable development is facilitated through clean and unpolluted environment, clean drinking water, sustainable energy and food security.

Lamenting at the dismal state of affairs pervading the water quality in India, Dr Arvind stated that India Water Foundation has made as part of its VISION 2050 to improve the quality of surface and underground water in the country. He further stated that such a vision could be fulfilled by raising awareness among the people about the urgency of keeping surface and groundwater resources free from pollution. He also informed that India Water Foundation would carry out this task with the help of school children, youth, farmers, Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and others. Besides, the main water-pollutant industries like distilleries, tanneries, and others will be reminded of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and act accordingly.

While felicitating the Sadhguru, Smt Sheila Dixit, Chief Minister of Delhi, briefly recounted the laudable work done by the Isha Foundation under the inspiring leadership of Sadhguru in the realm of environment preservation by planting more trees and emphasized on the need of emulating the example of Isha Foundation. Smt. Sheila Dixit spoke passionately about the need for proactive programs to counter ecological degradation and climate change. She briefly touched upon Government’s commitment to the ‘Green India Mission’ and also shared details of Project GreenHands.
Smt. Dikshit was joined in the felicitation ceremony by Hon’ble Parliamentary Affairs Minister and Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Pawan Kumar Bansal.

Asserting that India has to support 16 percent of the global population and has only 4 per cent of world’s water resources, Sh. Pawan Kumar Bansal, Union Minister of Water Resources and Parliamentary Affairs, expressed the need for sensitizing the people about water related issues. Stating that the Government was doing its part, he called upon the involvement of the people in conservation and preservation of water. He eulogized the role of India Water Foundation in generating awareness among the people pertaining to water-related issues and expressed the hope that other civil societies should come forward.

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev dealt with the programmes accomplished and underway under the aegis of Isha Foundation in the realm of environment and exhorted the audience to plant more trees for their own benefit and for the welfare of humanity. He also narrated as to how with the help of volunteers Isha Foundation could restore the lost green cover of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu.

As a part of its VISION for 2050, the India Water Foundation is focusing on Environment Security, Water Security, Energy Security and Food Security.
Environmental Security is closely linked to keeping air, water and other natural resources free from pollution and to develop the habit of conservation. The growing menace of global warming, particularly owing to Greenhouse gases, can be tackled with the promotion of water-friendly forestry.

Water security can be ensured through conservation, by keeping surface and groundwater resources free from pollution, promoting rainwater harvesting, reducing dependence on fast depleting underground water resources and other related emasures. Energy Security entails reduction of dependence on fossil fuels, developing hydro-electric power, promoting renewable resources of energy and developing the habit of conservation etc.

Food Security is essential in the wake of shrinking agricultural lands and growing demands for food as a sequel to increasing population. Water-intensive crops are required to be replaced with crops that consume less quantity of water, developing innovative techniques in agriculture for increasing production, preventing wastage of food, educationg the farmers about the rational use of water, developing new techniques of irrigations designed to promote water conservation etc. Building buffer stocks of food to meet the drought and famine like situations is also essential.

India Water Foundation

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