“We will create a Green Legacy.” – Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh
It is high time environment preservation was back on the priority list of our lawmakers. But alas! Most of our elected representatives are too busy gathering attention by petty publicity stunts, mere play of words, bickering and quarrelling on issues which do not concern the common man. But all hope is not lost. Here’s the Chief Minister of one of the largest states in India, Akhilesh Yadav determined to make a tangible impact on people and generations to come, via steps to preserve environment.
Akhilesh Government Launches the Biggest Plantation Drive in History
The 24 hours beginning from 10:00 AM, July 11, 2016 will be etched in the memory of all for a very noble reason. The Akhilesh Yadav-led government in Uttar Pradesh has launched a massive plantation drive across the state, wherein more than 5 crore saplings have been planted in more than 6000 sites across the state in these 24 hours. This initiative is being carried out under the Green UP Clean UP Campaign.
More than 5,50,000 volunteers have joined hands to create history by planting more than 80 species, covering an area of 770 sq. Km., which is more than 2% of the total area of Uttar Pradesh, one of the largest states in India. The best part is yet to come. The Akhilesh-led Government created a World Record by planting 10 lakh trees in a single day, in November last year. This year, they have broken their own records and created another world record by planting 5 crore trees in 24 hours. It’s indeed a pity that the media finds a soap opera actress’ wedding more engaging. In a time when the ‘Breaking News’ has been redefined as something which entertains, rather than something which provides a meaningful insight into issues that concern us, it’s important for us to recognise and appreciate the efforts at achieving a greener earth by some of our elected representatives.
Use of Technology in Making the Drive a Success
One may ask whether the Digital CM Akhilesh Yadav (Read also – What CMs of India can Follow From #DigitalCM) is combining his green legacy with technological innovation to make the drive a huge success. Indeed, the drive is adhering to scientific plantation methodology based on soil, climate, topography, etc., and is using the Android Mobile App for real-time inspection of the plantation drive. The initiative has actively employed the Plantation Monitoring System and the Nursery Management System to administer the drive, and maximise the reach, effectiveness and efficiency of the plantation drive.
Not just this, the whole drive is a paperless initiative. The CM is surely walking the talk. It is heartening to see that the taxpayers’ hard-earned money is being invested into a cause which will bear fruits for this as well as several future generations to come.
Who all are Involved in this Unprecedented Initiative?
No task is completed unless you involve one and all in it. The Van Mahotsav is unique because of the involvement of children in the drive. On 4th July, 2016, more than 5 crore children took oath for conservation of plants. To involve the future nation-builders and budding young minds in this initiative, is indeed a far-sighted approach on the part of Akhilesh Government.
There is also the involvement of third-party agencies in the plantation drive. The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the largest developing-country institution working towards sustainability, is monitoring the soil work done for the plantation. The drive is also being audited by KPMG. The UP Government is leaving no stone unturned to make this initiative successful, for the benefit of us and our progeny.
Today, most of the government’s policies are adopting the convenient, yet a non-inclusive way of development. In this context, the situation demands an all-inclusive policy. To understand the real powerful impact that initiatives like the Van Mahotsav have on the people, one needs to delve deeper into details. The trees so planted will not just help in carbon sequestration in the urban areas, but will provide fuel wood and fodder for the rural population, whose source of bread and better depends on the forests. In light of the increased water scarcity in areas like Bundelkhand, the drive will go a long way in improving water retention capacity of the soil, touching thousands of lives.
Enhanced soil fertility, less polluted air, improved sources of livelihood for the public are just few of the several benefits one may associate with the plantation drive.
Indeed, this was not the first initiative of the UP Government to increase environment preservation. Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had received `Plaque of Appreciation’ during an international seminar of water in Korea’s capital Seoul recently, for his outstanding contribution in promoting water reserve and revival of rivers in the State. Additionally, this Van Mahotsav, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav also inaugurated a forest e-library and unveiled a film on state bird ‘Saras’. This news does reinstate our belief in the nobility of our lawmakers, and hence, leaders of other states should emulate UP CM Akhilesh Yadav’s example. The situation calls for more such initiatives towards environment protection.
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Featured Image Credits: Sulabh Flickr via Flickr