Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar launched #SelfieWithSapling campaign on the eve of World Environment Day. He urged people to plant a sapling and click a selfie with it.
Prakash Javadekar said that ‘jan bhagidari’ (people’s participation) is integral to tackling environmental issues. He said, “June 5 is celebrated as World Environment Day. I appeal to the people to plant a sapling, click a picture with it and post it on social media using ‘#SelfieWithSapling’. We need such initiatives as we are creating a carbon sink.” Prakash Javadekar said that the Modi government believes that environment is not just a government programme but a people’s programme.
In January this year, the Centre launched the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) to reduce air pollution by 2024. According to the Environment Ministry, the committee formed under the NCAP has met and an action plan has been drawn up for 84 of 102 polluted cities.
It is notable that air pollution in India is a serious issue, ranking higher than smoking, high blood pressure, child and maternal malnutrition, and risk factors for diabetes. 13 out of the world’s most polluted 20 cities are in India. Air pollution contributes to the premature deaths of 20 lakh Indians every year.