To save environment, Himachal schools take pledge

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

SHIMLA - To develop “green” habits among children, the Himachal Pradesh government has started the practice of administering a pledge to protect the environment during the morning prayer session in all schools beginning Tuesday, an official said here.

“To sensitise the young minds about nature, the government has decided to introduce the environment protection pledge in the prayer session of every school - both government and private - from today (Tuesday) onwards,” a government spokesperson told IANS.

He said Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has released the nine-point code that makes it mandatory for every teacher and student to take the pledge during the prayer session.

An education department official said: “The teachers would be required to administer the pledge to the students like conserving and protecting trees and wildlife, avoid use of non-biodegradable disposable items, preserving water and conserving energy by switching off lights and other appliances when not in use.”

Dhumal told IANS: “Our aim is to inculcate values of preserving environment among the young generation. Of course, the schoolchildren would act as environment ambassadors.”

“As environment and ecology of the hills is extremely fragile, the government has endeavoured to formulate a code to inculcate environment discipline among the masses and the schoolchildren would act as environment ambassadors,” he said.

Himachal Pradesh is most vulnerable to climate change as the Himalayan glaciers have been retreating due to global warming.

The total geographical area of the hill state is 55,673 sq km, out of which 66.5 percent, that is 37,033 sq km is classified as forest region.

The state is one of the storehouses of biodiversity in the country. Of the 45,000 species of flora species found in the country, 3,295 species are found in Himachal Pradesh. It is the largest supplier of chilgoza pine nut, kuth medicinal plant, dioscorea wild yam, dhoop incense, picrorrhiza, valeriana and ephedra in the country.

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