Indian envoy to Israel recalls Gandhi ji's concern for environment, says Mahatma "had real foresight
Jerusalem, June 6: Air pollution is one of the biggest killers in India, the country of Mahatma Gandhi who understood the concerns of environment at a time when it was not really the biggest worries that people had, Indian Ambassador to Israel Pavan Kapoor has said.
Kapoor on Wednesday joined kindergarten children of Kibbutz Naan (agricultural commune) and other India enthusiasts to plant saplings on the occasion of World Environment Day and to mark the 150th Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
According to experts, there is an urgent need to check air pollution, the theme of the Environment Day this year, as a study claimed it has become a national emergency killing one lakh children under the age of five in India every year.
He also dedicated the India-Israel Friendship Grove and unveiled a plaque with quotation with a quotation of the Father of the Nation on the protection of the environment saying, "The earth, the air, the land and the water are not an inheritance from our forefathers but on loan from our children. So we have to hand over to them at least as it was handed over to us".
Stressing the importance of the teachings of Bapu on sustainable development and environment protection, the Indian envoy said, "Mahatma Gandhi lived in a time when concerns of the environment were not really the biggest worries that people had. He still had real foresight in saying what we see here (pointing towards the plaque)".
"He (Gandhi) understood the concerns of the environment and talked about sustainable development and self-sufficiency... He talked a lot about the protection of the environment and sustainable development", Kapoor said. The World Environment Day is being celebrated across the world since 1974 the United Nations underlined the need to spread awareness of the protection of the environment.
Speaking about air pollution, the theme for this year's the World Environment Day, Kapoor said, "Believe me you are so lucky in living in such a beautiful environment here. The country that I come from, the country of Mahatma Gandhi, air pollution is one of the biggest killers, unfortunately".
He said for the future of the children we must think about what we can do together to mitigate these problems.
"I am extremely pleased that we are working together and today we will try and plant some trees in this beautiful verdant setting as a symbol of trying to mitigate the environment problems and to beat air pollution among other concerns that we have," he stressed.
NaanDan Jain Irrigation which partnered with the Indian mission in organising the event at Kibbutz Naan whose members, especially children, participated in large numbers.
"This unique project reflects the special ties being developed between India and Israel in all aspects of life and society. And what can be more appropriate on this occasion than to plant trees -marking our deep commitment to nature and one of its most important resources - water - that is essential for agricultural and environmental sustainability," a senior executive of NaanDan Jain Irrigation, Amnon Ofen, told the gathering.