New Delhi, Jul 16 (PTI) Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday stressed on the need to act against those violating environmental laws and underlined the importance of enforcing the principle of 'polluter pays'.
He also said that everyone must become a warrior in the movement to protect the environment in the light of the climate crisis the world is going through.
'From panchayat to Parliament, all stakeholders must act proactively in protecting the environment,' he said according to an official statement.
He also stressed on the need to act stringently with violators of pollution laws and consider strict enforcement of the 'polluter pays' principle, the statement said.
Highlighting recent disasters such as the flash floods in Himachal Pradesh, landslides in Uttarakhand and heat waves in Canada and the United States, he said these are instances of increasing frequency of extreme weather events due to global warming and climate change.
He said these are tell-tale signs that climate change is real and cannot be wished away.
Naidu also expressed concern over the recent lightning-related deaths in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, and noted that the increased lightning strikes (34 per cent more in India during 2020-21 compared to the previous year) are also being linked by scientists to the climate crisis.
Interacting with trainees at Swarna Bharat Trust, Hyderabad, the vice president said that in the light of these 'worrisome' trends, it is imperative for people to co-exist harmoniously with nature and protect the environment to ensure the well-being of all.
He also suggested that it is extremely important to balance developmental needs with environmental protection.
'It cannot be business as usual,' he stressed.
Recalling the importance given to nature in Indian civilisation, Naidu said peoole should act as 'trustees' to the natural environment, as Gandhi ji advised. He noted India's commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement, leadership in forging the International Solar Alliance and called for even greater substantive global efforts towards mitigating climate change.
The vice president also underscored how environment and health are deeply intertwined.
'Studies have revealed that spending time in nature lowers blood pressure, reduces stress and enhances emotional well-being. Being close to nature leaves us rejuvenated,' he noted.
He called for creating awareness from a young age on the need to live in harmony with nature. 'It was also found that children who received outdoor training were more satisfied and emotionally well-balanced. Every school should make outdoor activities like gardening and trekking an integral part of the curriculum,' he emphasised.
Referring to experts' opinion that current digital ecosystem and indoor-centric lifestyle were possible reasons for the increasing cases of myopia among children, the vice president called for implementation of their advice of making one-hour outdoor play time mandatory in all schools. PTI NAB AAR AAR