Mumbai: Recognising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s commitment towards eliminating single-use plastic items in India by 2022 and his work in championing the International Solar Alliance, United Nation’s has bestowed him with, ‘Champions of Earth’ award. The award, which is considered to be UN’s highest environmental honour is awarded to outstanding leaders from government, civil society and the private sector whose actions have had a positive impact on the environment. The title is also shared by Emmanuel Macron, President of France.
Emmanuel Macron, President of France and Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, are recognized in the Policy Leadership category for their pioneering work in championing the International Solar Alliance and promoting new areas and levels of cooperation on environmental action, including Macron’s work on the Global Pact for the Environment and Modi’s unprecedented pledge to eliminate all single-use plastic in India by 2022, said in a press release by United States.
The awards were presented on the sidelines of the 73rd UN General Assembly during the Champions of the Earth Gala in New York on September 26. The gala brought together a cross-section of world leaders and influencers to celebrate momentum for change in defence of planet Earth.
It was on World Environment Day (June 5) this year when Prime Minister Modi’s government had announced its ambitious plan to drive out all single-use plastic items including carry bags, straws, and water bottles among others from the country by 2022.
“We make a solemn pledge that we will eliminate all single-use plastics from our beautiful country. This India of our dreams (New India) will be single-use plastic free,” Union Environment Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan had said.
On the historic #WED2018 occasion, I #pledged to eliminate all #SingleUsePlastics from the face of India by 2022. The India that @narendramodi envisions #NewIndia2022 shall be free of single use plastics @ErikSolheim @UNEnvironment @PMOIndia @BJP4India @moefcc pic.twitter.com/0N69NDdAky
— Dr. Harsh Vardhan (@drharshvardhan) June 5, 2018
Along with the declaration of eliminating plastic usage, the Prime Minister signed UN Environment Clean Seas campaign that was launched in February 2017 to fight marine plastic litter to send out a strong message within the global community.
Beaming with great pride, several celebrities, politicians and people congratulated the Prime Minister on social media platforms.
Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari called it a ‘moment of joy and pride’
संयुक्त राष्ट्र द्वारा पर्यावरण संरक्षण एवं संवर्धन के लिए दिया जाने वाला सर्वोच्च "चैंपियन ऑफ अर्थ" पुरस्कार हमारे प्रधानमंत्री श्री @narendramodi जी को दिया जाना हमारे लिए हर्ष और गर्व का क्षण है। नरेंद्र भाई को हार्दिक बधाई ।
— Nitin Gadkari (@nitin_gadkari) September 26, 2018
BJP national President Amit Shah tweeted, “It is a matter of great pride for every Indian that PM @narendramodi has been awarded the UN Champions of the Earth Award in the Policy Leadership category. This is the UN’s highest recognition for people whose actions have had a transformative impact on the environment”
This honour has been bestowed on PM @narendramodi for his pioneering work in championing the International Solar Alliance and promoting new areas of levels of cooperation on environmental action and unprecedented pledge to eliminate single-use plastic in India by 2022.
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) September 26, 2018
Calling it as a ‘global recognition’ for Prime Minister’s ‘monumental initiatives towards cleaner and greener world’, Dr Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State Environment, Forest and Climate Change said, “Hearty Congratulations to hon’ble PM @narendramodi on being conferred the UN’s highest environmental honor #ChampionsOfTheEarth award in Policy Leadership category. It is a global recognition for his monumental initiatives towards cleaner & greener world.”
Hearty Congratulations to hon’ble PM @narendramodi on being conferred the UN’s highest environmental honor #ChampionsOfTheEarth award in Policy Leadership category. It is a global recognition for his monumental initiatives towards cleaner & greener world.https://t.co/90anzLQshR
— Dr. Mahesh Sharma (@dr_maheshsharma) September 27, 2018
Ace cricketer Suresh Raina said, “Heartiest congratulations to honourable PM sh.@narendramodi ji for UN #ChampionsOfTheEarth Award in Policy Leadership category.”
— Suresh Raina (@ImRaina) September 27, 2018
This is second time when an Indian has been honoured with this prestigious award for efforts towards beating plastic pollution. In 2016, lawyer-activist Afroz Shah had bagged the ‘Champions of the Earth’ award for spearheading world’s largest beach cleanup at Versova beach to drive out plastic litter.
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.