Mangaluru: The Diocese of Mangalore organized a programme “Nature’s Protection My Responsibility” at the Milagres Jubilee Hall here, on August 29.
The programme began with an invocation. M P Noronha welcomed the gathering. The programme was inaugurated by the district minister in-charge B Ramanath Rai by unveiling the Globe, along with other dignitaries on the dais.
Addressing the gathering, Ramanath Rai said, “Earth is a very beautiful planet in the universe and provides us food, shelter and fulfills all our needs. Earth is very kind towards us but we are not able to repay her kindness. We are very cruel towards the Earth for our selfish activities; even the forests have been misused. Now, due to the Forest Conservation Act, there are less violations. Under this act, there are restrictions on the de-reservation of forests or use of forest land for non-forest purpose.”
He further said that due to global warming, there has been a increase in sea level. “We need fresh air to breath but due to air pollution, we get various diseases. To control the air from being polluted, we need to bring awareness among people. We have prepared a letter to be sent to every religious place, such as churches, temples and mosques, to keep their surroundings clean.”
He also said that the forest department has initiated a tour for high school students from across Karnataka. This year 10,000 students from the state will be taken to the forests in batches for three-days under the ‘Chinnara Vanya Darshana’ scheme. The students will spend their time with nature and learn more about the environment and ecology. There will be quizzes for students to increase their knowledge about nature. Some schools will also be selected and named as ‘Green Schools’.
MLA J R Lobo felicitated those who have planted the highest number of saplings in their respective lands. Addressing the gathering, Lobo said, “Pope Francis has addressed the people of the world and clearly mentioned that every human, bird, tree and every other creature is created by God and they praise God. If we want to keep nature safe and beautiful, we have to take care of it”. Lobo further said that the earth provides us with whatever we need but it still fails to fulfill man’s avarice. Every day, we produce tonnes of degradable and non-degradable waste and litter the earth. Smoke and harmful gases from our homes, vehicles and industries are suffocating the earth. We are disposing dirty sewage, drainage and even chemicals. We know that every living being relies on water to live, but we still pollute the water. Inspite of huge noise pollution, we use loudspeakers for entertainment. We destroy forests for agriculture, huge buildings and factories.
He further said that we talk about contagious diseases like malaria, dengue, etc, but who is responsible for all this? “We, humans, are the main cause for most of the diseases. We have to take care of the solid waste management and dispose waste in a systematic manner. It is our duty to protect mother nature and hand over a clean and green planet to future generations. Youth should join hands towards nature conservation to protect the earth from destruction,” he added.
Mayor Jacintha Alfred administered the oath to the gathering and signed the pledge sheets. Fifty thousand pledge sheets will be distributed to various schools, institutions, hospitals and other organizations. A draw will be taken on November 1 for those who sign the pledge and the winner will be awarded with a sovereign of gold.
MLC Ivan D’Souza was also present. Convener of Social Responsibility Committee Fr Oniel D’Souza delivered the keynote address. Mallika Shetty compered the programme.