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Van Mahotsav 2022: A Week-Long Forest Festival, Here’s All You Need To Know

Van Mahotsav: As part of the annual tree-planting festival, thousands of trees are planted all over the country by the masses – from government organisations, civic bodies to individuals

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Van Mahotsav 2022: A Week-Long Forest Festival, Here’s All You Need To Know
India celebrates Van Mahotsav or Forest Festival in the first week of July every year

New Delhi: Did you know, that forests cover nearly 31 per cent of our planet’s land area? Lost forests mean the disappearance of livelihoods in rural communities, increased carbon emissions, diminished biodiversity and the degradation of land, states the United Nations. To create awareness about forests, specifically trees, India celebrates Van Mahotsav or the Forest Festival in the first week of July every year. As part of the annual tree-planting festival, thousands of trees are planted all over the country by different stakeholders – from government organisations, civic bodies to individuals.

The objective behind celebrating Van Mahotsav is to keep local people involved in plantation drives and spread environmental awareness.

Van Mahotsav is a brainchild of Kanaiyalal Maneklal Munshi, an Environmentalist and Union Minister of Agriculture and Food (1952-53). In 1950, he initiated Van Mahotsav to increase the area under forest cover and create enthusiasm among masses for forest conservation and planting trees. The festival was simultaneously celebrated in different states in India.

Also Read: Now An App To Save Trees

Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Monday (June 27) said the Delhi government will undertake a 15-day mega plantation drive starting July 11. Van Mahotsav will commence from the Central Ridge on July 11 and culminate on July 25 at Asola Bhatti Mines by planting 1 lakh saplings, he said. The target is to plant 35 lakh saplings this year.

Starting July 2, the Delhi government will also distribute medicinal plants and saplings for free at Kamala Nehru Ridge.

Also Read: Punjab Government Launches ‘I Rakhwali’ App To Make Citizens ‘Greenery Saviours’

India To Kick-Start Van Mahotsav With A Ban On Single-Use Plastic

India plans to ban 19 single-use plastic items starting July 1. According to a government notification, the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of the following single-use plastic, including polystyrene and expanded polystyrene, commodities shall be prohibited with effect from July 1, 2022: ear buds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene (thermocol) for decoration; plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straw, trays; wrapping or packing films around sweet boxes, invitation cards, and cigarette packets, plastic or PVC banners less than 100 micron, and stirrers.

NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ populationindigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.

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