New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday, in his monthly ‘Mann ki Baat‘ radio address, hailed farmers from Punjab who do not burn stubble in fields and help save the environment. He pointed out that while the world, especially the West, is discussing environmental protection and trying to find new ways to adopt a balanced lifestyle, India is also facing a similar problem. “But, for its solution we only have to look inwards, to look into our glorious past and our rich traditions and especially have to understand the lifestyle of our tribal communities,” he said.
This November, we mark hundred years since the end of World War-1. Let us always pursue the path of peace, harmony and brotherhood.
Let us also remember the brave Indian soldiers who fought in the First World War, guided by a firm commitment to peace. pic.twitter.com/SIgJBNuL2p
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 28, 2018
On the issue of stubble burning which leads to massive air pollution, PM Modi in his address mentioned about to a Punjab farmer named Gurbachan Singh, who made his would-be parents-in-law promise that they will not burn stubble in their fields.
PM Modi said, You can well imagine the social strength this statement had and even though the demand made by Gurbachan Singh ji appears quite ordinary, it reveals how tall and strong his personality is and we have seen that there are many families in our society who connect their individual matters with the benefit of the society as a whole.
Prime Minister lauded the people of Kallar Majra in Nabha district of Punjab who mix the stubble with sand by ploughing their fields rather than burning the stubble and adopt the necessary technology for the process. He congratulated them on their efforts and said, “Congratulations to the people of Kallar Majra and of all those places who are making their best efforts to keep the environment clean and pollution free. All of you are carrying forward the Indian tradition of a healthy lifestyle as a true successor. Just as a sea is formed by the collection of tiny drops, similarly, a small constructive step plays a vital role in creating a positive environment.” The prime minister also said tribes with their traditions and rituals are the best examples of coexistence with nature. “To live in consonance and close coordination with nature has been an integral part of our tribal communities. Our tribal brethren worship trees and plants and flowers like gods and goddesses,” PM Modi added. The Prime Minister also praised the north-eastern states for making a “grand progress” in organic farming and using more eco-friendly measures in agriculture.
We in India are blessed to have the wisdom and knowledge of our tribal communities, who teach us the true meaning of sustainable development and living in harmony with nature. Spoke about this interesting subject during #MannKiBaat. pic.twitter.com/O69ZU9kAU9
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 28, 2018
Meanwhile, thick smog has submerged the national capital which continues to grapple with deteriorating air quality. Experts predict Delhi’s air will not be getting better anytime soon with festival of ‘Diwali’ right around the corner as despite Supreme Court’s restrictions on limiting the time of bursting crackers from 8-10pm on the day of Diwali and that too only “green” crackers that are supposed to produce less air pollution, the enforcement mechanism of this order is still not clear. In addition to existing factors like vehicular pollution and construction dust, stubble burning incidents are still being reported from Punjab and Haryana every day.
7,503 cases of stubble-burning have been reported until Friday this year, according to data from Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), which is a decrease of 43.8 per cent compared to the corresponding time period in the last year. This decrease may be because the Punjab government undertook some initiatives before the onset of the stubble-burning season including awareness programmes about government schemes to mitigate farm fires like providing subsidies and technical support for the mechanisation of farm waste management.
Delhi recorded the AQI (Air Quality Index) of 366 on Sunday which falls under “very poor” category with PM-2.5 (Particulate Matter 2.5) and PM-10 and is this season’s worst up till now. According to the AQI calculator of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), an AQI between 0 and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.
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.