By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 28 Sep: Plant Science Division of Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Dehradun organized a one day training- cum-awareness program organized on Swachhata Hi Seva under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, at Shivalik Scheduled Tribal Model School, Shahpur – Kalyanpur, Vikasnagar, Dehradun. The program was inaugurated by Dr. Harsh Mehta, Head of the Department of Plant Sciences Division. Inaugurating the program, Dr. Harsh Mehta told about the harmful effects of single use plastics to the environment. Plastics affect water, air and soil. Both humans and animals are being affected by use of plastic. Due to single use plastics, number and kinds of diseases are increasing, as well as the fertility of the land is also decreasing. He went on to say that today, the main cause of cancer could be the single-use plastics. He warned that the plastic with thickness less than 50 microns is very dangerous for the environment. Dr. JMS Tomar, Principal Scientist (Forestry), emphasized on the use of cloth bags instead of plastic bags. Dr. AC Rathore, Principal Scientist (Horticulture), reiterated the potential of horticulture on the environmental protection. He advocated health and nutritional security through horticulture. Dr. Rajesh Kaushal, Principal Scientist (Forestry), also emphasized on keeping the surroundings clean and follow the “waste to prosperity concept”, which gives dual benefits both in terms of cleanliness and wealth. Dr. J Jayaprakash, Senior Scientist (Forestry), spoke on the personal and social hygiene for all including women, aged, and childhood. Dr. Anand Kumar Gupta, Scientist (Environmental Science), explained the damages caused to the environment by polythene and suggested making compost from kitchen waste mainly fruits and vegetables to reduce ultimate wastage. The Principal of the school, informed the participants about cleanliness in very simple words and congratulated the program for its complete success. About 200 school students, school teachers and villagers participated in the program. During the program, villagers informed that their village is becoming aware of cleanliness on the call of the Prime Minister. The women and children of the village shared their experiences and told that if the production of these items is stopped, eradication of plastic will be easier. Items related to personal hygiene (handkerchiefs, soaps) and pens were distributed among school children to make them aware of the Swachh Bharat Mission and items related to cleanliness (phenyl, broom etc.) were distributed to the school. A speech competition was also organized for the students. At the end of the program, Dr. Harsh Mehta and the principal distributed prizes and certificates to the winners in the speech competition. Umesh Kumar, Shailender Yadav, Ravish, Shalini Sharma, Abhinav, Pramod Kumar, Abhishek, Narendra and Naveen were also present during the event. Teachers of the school Sanjay Kumar, Shaina Ansari, Ravi Kumar and Surendra Singh were also present.