The Union Environment Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan launched a month-long plantation drive to mark Van Mahotsav on 5 July 2017. The Minister planted a sapling and also distributed saplings for plantation to local residents.
The plantation drive was organised at Ram Lila Park, C. C Colony and Model Town early in the morning.
Speaking on the occasion, Harsh Vardhan urged the states to undertake similar initiatives and urged people to become ‘green ambassadors’ and participate actively in plantation drives during the period of monsoon, in keeping with the spirit of Van Mahotsav.
He further advised that native trees, which have a high survival rate, should be planted as they readily adapt to the local climate and integrate well into the eco-system.
He also added that in order to meet goals set by India under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), initiatives such as plantation drives with large scale active participation from people are important.
What is Van Mahotsav?
• The festival of tree plantation was initiated in 1950 by Dr. KM Munshi, the then Union Minister for Agriculture and Food to create enthusiasm among masses for forest conservation and planting trees.
• It began with a tree plantation drive that saw participation from several national leaders. It was simultaneously celebrated in other states in India.
• The main objective behind celebrating Van Mahotsav is to keep local people involved in plantation drives and spread environmental awareness.
• It is usually observed in the first week of July every year and is celebrated on different days in different parts of India.
• The occasion is also marked with programmes like screening of short films and documentaries, seminars and exhibition, painting and poster competitions.
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