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NIT Srinagar celebrates world environment day, speakers vow for minimize usage of plastic

"We need to aware our people of their responsibilities towards the environment," Director NIT

SRINAGAR: The National Institute of Technology (NIT) Srinagar on Saturday celebrated the world environment day, on the theme of ‘Science and Climate Change' in which speakers vowed to minimize usage of plastic, polythene and highlighted global climate change and its adverse impacts.

The virtual event was jointly organized by the Department of Physics and Chemistry and Prof. MA Shah was the brain behind the day-long event.

While addressing virtual webinar in his keynote address, Director NIT Srinagar, Prof. (Dr.) Rakesh Sehgal said there is need to be more practical and take an oath that we will minimize the use of plastic in our lives and try to use alternatives that can be recycled.

"To protect the environment, we should start from our own houses, institutions, offices and localities. These small steps will protect our environment at a larger level. We should plant more and more trees and make our community aware of their responsibilities towards the environment," he said.

Dr. Sehgal said if we remain in a green and hygienic environment that would please everyone in our societies. It will bring a positive change and vibrant change, he said.

Director NIT Srinagar also expressed his gratitude to Physics and Chemistry departments for organizing a webinar to observe world environment day.

The theme for World Environment Day 2021 was 'Ecosystem Restoration' and Pakistan was its global host for the day.

Registrar NIT Srinagar, Professor Kaiser Bukhari said the ecology of the region is very fragile and "we all need to do our bit to save the unique natural wealth.

"We have to work with our people , government, and grassroots organizations to emphasise the importance of the environment and take collective action, can there be a tangible change," Prof. Bukhari said.

Director disaster management JK and alumni NIT Srinagar, Aamir Ali Mir, who was chief guest on the occasion said nature has bestowed with a lot of resources but unfortunately due to the greed of humankind, we are exploiting them on a large scale more than requirement.

"It has led to an imbalance in the environment and following which nature has responded through natural disasters. Nature has its own way of restoring the ecosystem and as we witnessed during Covid19 lockdown, quality of air, water improved and there was less pollution," he said.

Mir said there is a need to use less fossil fuels in many ways. We should encourage the use of organic stuff. The government should try to facilitate that public transport system in such a way that people use it more, he said.

"More focus should be laid on renewable energy rather than energy coming from other sources. At the individual level we should plant more trees and at the government level with massive plantation drives to cover the catchment areas," he added.

Dean School of Social Science and Head Department of Religious Studies, Prof. Hameed Naseem Rafiabadi said there is need to involve the students to conserve the dying water bodies in the region.

"Both Central University of Kashmir and NIT Srinagar can sign a MoU and start work on the ground jointly in preserving the environment.We have to take a call on our own without waiting for someone else to assist us and make our people aware about the important issue," he said.

NIT Alumni Ramesh Ramakrishnan (1977-82 batch) from Kerala said environment protection is an attitude and you don't have to look at nuclear energy, or other things.Our small efforts can bring a change, he said. "Let's start from the basics and it will definitely bring a positive change. Optimize the usage of environmental resources," Ramesh said.

HOD Physics, Prof P A Ganaie, while conveying his message that we need to join hands to save the environment and thanked Prof Shah for making the Department vibrant to speak on noble issues. We need to adopt eco-friendly measures to combat the global environmental challenges," he added.

HOD Chemistry, Prof. Kowsar Majid said it has been 49 years since the world environment day is being observed but nothing has been done at ground level, which is a big question for all of us, she said. Prof. Kowsar said Kashmir is known for its beauty around the world but it has been converted into hell. Although people are aware about the environment's concerns, and enforcing of law on ground is negligible or zero, she said.

On the occasion, Professor S A Shah stressed to be more practical in the prevailing situation and urged all stakeholders including the government to come forward and contribute their part in preserving the environment.

"There should be certain things implemented by the government, law enforcement agencies in order to check environmental degradation. In the name of so-called development, we are just destroying the fragile environment but its consequences will be very hard on society and the next generation," he said.

Former HOD Chemistry, Tabassum Ara said little things can help us in conserving our environment like walking or use of cycle for short distances to buy local foods and goods from market, so that use of fuel for transportation is minimized. "Use of eco-friendly products,e books instead of paper to save trees, and finally we have educated our children about the environment and its preservation," She conveyed.

Students including Nikita Gill, Surbhi Rajpoot, Humairah Tabassum, Arjumand Ayoub, Shagufta Praveen, Durakhshan Ashraf Qadri, and Bushra Rashid from Physics and Chemistry departments vowed for conservation of environment and highlighted its importance through their brief speeches. The winners shall be awarded on 7th of September, 2021.

Professor M. A Shah from the Physics Department said the idea behind celebrating this day each year is to highlight the importance of the environment and to remind people that nature should not be taken for granted.

"The need of the hour for science is to inform the society and the government about the cost of failure to address global warming, climate change," he said.

Shah said that in his Laboratory for Multifunctional Nano-Materials (LMN), we are exploring work on Light weight material, which will reduce the emissions of CO2 by land and air transport. Copper, Zinc, Iron nano balls with graphene can be helpful for capturing CO2 and a versatile group associated with the Laboratory are working on it.

The webinar was moderated and hosted by Nikhilesh K. Dilwaliya from Physics department of NIT Srinagar.

A formal vote of thanks for the concluding session was presented by Prof. Seemin Rubab, Professor of Physics department and thanked all distinguished speakers, resource persons, and students for making the event successful.

Professor Rubab also highlighted the importance of the role of students in debating such crucial issues and acknowledged the efforts of Shah for making event possible within short notice.

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