New Delhi: Ahead of India’s 71st Independence Day, internationally-acclaimed sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik lights up Odisha’s Puri beach with his sand art with a message ‘Say No To Plastic Flags’ and help India become free from plastic pollution. Currently, about five trillion tonnes of plastic is floating in the world’s oceans that are equivalent to the size of Argentina. And, India is the 12th biggest plastic polluter in the world. To save the country from the growing plastic menace, the Padma Awardee, Sudarsan Pattnaik also shared the glimpses of his artwork with netizens so that the message is spread across the country.
This Independence Day, let us pledge to use Fabric Flags only. Say no to the use of plastic flags. #BeatPlasticPollution, said Sudarsan Pattnaik in the tweet.
View Sudarsan Pattnaik’s Post
— Sudarsan Pattnaik (@sudarsansand) August 10, 2018
This is not the sand artist’s first artwork with a message to beat plastic pollution. This year, on the occasion of World Environment Day, the artist created the biggest sand turtle art measuring 50 feet long and 30 feet wide, using just plastic bottles for the installation. Moreover, on other occasions such as Earth Day, World Ocean’s Day and Turtle Day, Mr Pattnaik created mesmerizing sand arts portraying the plight of marine animals that die every year due to plastic pollution and urged citizens to help beat the plastic pollution by reducing the consumption of plastic items. Along with plastic pollution, Sudarsan Pattnaik is also well-known for creating innumerable sand arts around the theme of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan – from open defecation free to waste or garbage free India, Mr Pattnaik time and again has helped spread the message for a clean and green India.
For the Independence Day, the Centre has also passed an advisory and has urged all citizens not to use national flag made up of plastic, as plastic flags are not biodegradable like paper or cloth flags, and does not get decomposed for a long time. Moreover, the advisory has also been sent to states and Union Territories and they have been asked to ensure strict compliance of the flag code.
On the other hand, Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, has decided to spread awareness among people to use cotton flags instead of plastic ones by distributing around 1,000 cotton flags for free in his constituency Gautam Budh Nagar, Uttar Pradesh.
View Dr. Mahesh Sharma Message
Plastic Flags are non-biodegradable & ensuring their appropriate disposal compromise the dignity of National Flag.
— Dr. Mahesh Sharma (@dr_maheshsharma) August 9, 2018
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollution, clean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.