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Meghalaya’s resolve to protect env gets stronger

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SHILLONG/TURA, June 5: Meghalaya’s populace reinvigorated their resolve to protect the environment as it celebrated World Environment Day at different programmes held across the state on Wednesday.
The Forest and Environment department celebrated the occasion at the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Umsawli. The event, organised by the Social Forestry and Environment Wing, highlighted this year’s theme — ‘Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience.’
In his address, Chief Secretary DP Wahlang emphasised the significance of environmental awareness and the need for action. “Our environment is the foundation of human civilisation, providing us with the essentials of life and shaping the world,” he stated, underscoring the detrimental impacts of industrialisation, urbanisation, and population growth on natural resources.
Wahlang introduced the three ‘A’s — Awareness, Action, and Aspirations; as essential components for environmental preservation. The event also included the felicitation of the Social Forestry Division staff of East Khasi Hills and the distribution of prizes to winners of various competitions, such as drawing, painting, slogan, and essay writing.
William Carey University initiates env activities
William Carey University, Meghalaya, marked World Environment Day with diverse activities on Wednesday.
The Department of Environmental Management and Science, NSS Cell, and IQAC, in collaboration with the Social Forestry Division, East Khasi Hills, conducted an awareness campaign at Don Bosco Secondary School in Nongkohlew and a tree plantation drive at Nongkohlew village, Mawlai Mawtawar.
Additionally, a painting competition engaged students creatively, while the Department of Education and Political Science organised cleanliness drives on campus and in nearby streets, emphasising community responsibility and environmental care.
These activities highlight the university’s commitment to environmental stewardship and community engagement.
A prog for spl people
in West Jaintia Hills
The Halfway Home Project, under the Society for Urban and Rural Empowerment (SURE), celebrated World Environment Day with a vibrant and heartwarming event at the Halfway Home office in Sabah Muswang, West Jaintia Hills. The celebration, which began at 12 PM, was organised in collaboration with the Meghalaya Grassroots Music Project and featured a special performance by the renowned local band “Untitled 5.”
The theme, ‘Eco-Conscious for a Brighter Tomorrow,’ was at the heart of the event, inspiring attendees to embrace sustainable practices and environmental stewardship. The event brought together the dedicated staff of SURE, the specially-abled patients of the Halfway Home project, and members of the local community to raise awareness about environmental issues and celebrate the environment and our surroundings. A lively music performance by ‘Untitled 5,’ through the Meghalaya Grassroots Music Project, created an uplifting atmosphere, promoting unity and environmental consciousness.
Speaking at the programme, Secretary of SURE, Dr HH Mohrmen, said, “It is not easy to fight for the environment.”
“Change wouldn’t come just by listening to my speech; change will only come from self-realization.”
The celebration featured various musical activities, engagement with the patients, and environment-related speeches. Towards the end of the programme, there was also the planting of saplings by the organisers and the attendees in the office backyard.
Quiz at NEHU
Joining others in celebration, an online Quiz competition was organised by the Department of Geology, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong, in collaboration with the Ministry of Earth Sciences, National Institute of Disaster Management, Ministry of Home Affairs, Disaster Management Initiatives and Convergence Society, Hyderabad, and the Geological Society of India, Bengaluru.
The programme aimed to raise awareness and promote action for environmental protection, aligning with the United Nations’ Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030).
In his welcome address, Prof Devesh Walia, Dean of the School of Human and Environmental Sciences at NEHU, emphasised that ecosystem restoration is crucial not just for recovering from past damage but for building a resilient future. He highlighted the importance of global unity on World Environment Day to drive significant progress towards sustainability.
Dr Shikhar Kumar conducted the Quiz competition, which saw participation from over 120 individuals across different states. Using Mentimeter, the results were declared at the end of the programme. Participants appreciated the initiative and expressed interest in more such awareness programmes.
The winners of the quiz will be rewarded during the national seminar titled ‘127th Anniversary of the Great Shillong Earthquake: Are We Prepared?’ scheduled for June 12, at NEHU, Shillong.
SPARK celebrates with underprivileged kids
With this year’s theme of ‘Land Restoration, Desertification and Drought Resilience’, SPARK, a social organisation conducted a series of special programmes engaging various communities and reaching out to each household in different villages and slums. Founder of the organisation, Shima Modak, and her team sensitised them on living sustainably in harmony with nature.
On the day, a “Special Birthday of Trees” was celebrated with children singing for trees, which were decorated with balloons. The children conveyed their gratitude by hugging and kissing the trees. It may be noted that these are the same trees planted by the SPARK children in 2010 in the year of its initiation.
The students on Wednesday took the responsibility of protecting these trees while regarding them as their best friend, and naming each tree and participating in planting more trees.
Besides, the members from each household from Mawlong village, Mawlynrei Trianshnong village, Pongkung village, Rangmen village and Bara Bazaar Slum acknowledged their crucial roles in preservation of environment, while coming forward to plant trees with a commitment to nurture and take care of them.
Acknowledging the importance of the environment, children and their families planted thousands of saplings in the aforementioned villages across the fields, roadsides, garden and school boundaries and even participated in cleaning drives in different places.
BSF spreads awareness
In a bid to preserve the nature, identify problems related to environment and take corrective measures, BSF Meghalaya celebrated ‘World Environment Day’ on Wednesday, marking the day with awareness programmes, plantation drives and distribution of saplings among locals in different BOPs and BSF campuses as well as their surrounding areas.
Troops of BSF Meghalaya took a pledge to make all possible changes in their daily life to protect the environment and motivate others in understanding the importance of environmental friendly habits.
An awareness rally and various plantation drives were carried out by BSF in different BOPs, BSF campuses and surrounding areas. Free saplings were distributed by 172 Battalion BSF among the public to highlight the importance of environmental protection.
Villagers of bordering area were also educated on the issue of environmental changes. The students of BSF Senior Secondary School were second to none and participated in essay writing competitions, cleanliness drive to make school and its surrounding area plastic and litter free.
Tree plantation galore across Garo Hills
Tree plantation drives became one of the most sought after activities this World Environment Day celebration in Garo Hills including Selsela, Dadenggre, Rongram, and Gambegre in West Garo Hills besides other districts. Block Development Officers of respective blocks, staff, members of village organisations and the locals participated in the official events held at different venues.
A poster painting competition was organised at the college for secondary school students of Sangsangre by the College of Community Science, CAU, Tura. The programme was conducted by the Multi Technology Testing Centre and Vocational Training Centre, College of Community Science, CAU, Tura.
The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) Garo Hills unit also organised a comprehensive celebration across all districts of Garo Hills.
The initiative focused on planting saplings and distributing them among various administrative offices, school principals and college principals. This effort was aimed at fostering environmental consciousness and promoting sustainable practices within the community.
Meanwhile, to mark the occasion, the 120 Bn CRPF also planted a total of 2,000 saplings led by its Commandant Pramod Kumar Singh and other force officials.
The plantation drive was carried out at Matchakolgre, Industrial area in Tura. Various trees like Ashok, Jamun, Kahtal, Mango, Amrud, Gulmohar, Balsam, Tejpatta, Dalchini, Agar and Paikas were planted on the occasion.
Meanwhile, South Garo Hills district also held its official celebration of the occasion at the Rangku Memorial Girls Secondary School Hall Baghmara.
The ICAR-Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), West Garo Hills (WGH), in collaboration with the Divisional Forest Office and Social Forestry Division, celebrated World Environment Day with a tree plantation event at Samandalgre village in WGH.
The initiative, aligned with the World Environment Day theme, aimed to promote environmental stewardship and raise awareness about land restoration.
Agro-forestry trees, including Subabul, Jamun, and Ashoka, were planted, each marked with the farmer’s name responsible for its care. Senior Scientist cum Head of ICAR-KVK, Dr Monica Suresh Singh, highlighted the causes of land degradation and preventive measures. Subject Matter Specialist (Plant Pathology), Dr Joyoshree Mahanta, emphasised individual contributions to maintaining environmental balance.

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