Gangtok, June 5:
Sikkim observed World Environment Day, with the theme of this year- celebrating biodiversity. While most programs across the world and in the state were conducted digitally, a programme in the presence of the Governor, Ganga Prasad as Chief Guest and the Chief Minister, P.S. Tamang as the Guest of Honour was conducted at Raj Bhawan on Friday. The event was organized by the Forest and Environment Department, Government of Sikkim and flagged off with a ceremonial plantation by the Governor, the Chief Minister, Cabinet Ministers and other dignitaries
The main function for rolling out the National campaign on ‘Amrita for life ’ – Tinospora cordifolia (Gurjo in Nepali) under National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) was held at the conference hall of Raj Bhawan. The campaign was launched by Governor Ganga Prasad and Chief Minister P.S Tamang.
Tinospora cordifolia (Gurjo) is a climber shrub that has high medicinal value. It helps to counteract a suppressed immune system and is widely used for various other conditions. As part of the NMPB’s national campaign ‘Amrita for Life’, the Forest Department of Government of Sikkim will be distributing 1 lakh seedlings of Gurjo through mobile distribution centres set up in all four districts of the State, while another 1 lakh seedlings will be distributed next year and it was also informed that the Forest Department will use bio-degradable poly bags for the plant seedlings.
It was also informed by Principal Secretary cum PCCF, M.L. Srivastava, that the State Pollution Control Board(SPCB) has authorized six hospitals in the State with waste treatment facility for scientific disposal of waste from quarantine centres and that training has also been provided by the SPCB on waste management as per SOPs along with the provision of PPEs for the waste handlers.
Srivastava also informed the gathering of the increased forest coverage in Sikkim, while applauding the high level of self-awareness and preservation of the Sikkimese people toward protecting the environment and that the pandemic in some way brought everyone closer together making people realize the relationship and interdependence between human and environment. Srivastava also announced that the state-level online quiz competition on the occasion was being hosted by the Department with a cash price of Rs. 20,000/-, Rs. 15,000/- and Rs. 10,000/- for the winners.
In his speech, Governor Ganga Prasad called for the revival of the harmonious relationship with nature and a healthy co-existence between man and environment. Also expressing concern over the present crisis owing to the coronavirus pandemic, Prasad appealed to all to stand in solidarity and support the State government in fighting against the virus and announced that a herbal garden will also be set up at the Raj Bhawan premises under his directions.
The Chief Minister, in his address, appealed to everyone to work towards safeguarding nature to build a social-ecological resilience in the State while also asking every citizen to plant saplings individually. Also, Tamang informed that all the Cabinet Ministers and MLAs will be planting at least 1000 saplings in their respective constituencies starting today and will continue the drive till the month of July 2020.