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Prof Yash of JU presents talk at International Conference

JAMMU: Prof. Yash Pal Sharma of the Department of Botany, University of Jammu, Jammu today delivered an Invited talk on the topic "Gandhian models to curb gluttonous natural resource utilization" during an International Conference on the theme "Gandhian Values-Tool for Effective Management of World Order during Covid-19 Pandemic" organized by the University of Calicut, Kerala in collaboration with Gandhi Centre, Trivandrum w.e.f 4-6 February 2021.

Initiating his talk before the participants from India and abroad, Prof Sharma presented a brief message for all that the challenges of containing SARS-CoV-2 are still severe and till the time an effective vaccine reaches us all we need to continue the strategy of test, trace, and isolate to contain the transmission of the deadly virus and since asymptomatic transmission, avoidance of tests by many, and undetected spreaders, strongly contribute to infection chains, awareness, and balancing actions like physical distancing, social connect and improved sanitation and hygiene need to be observed conscientiously and religiously.

While on one hand Covid 19 has wreaked havoc on humanity, on the other hand, the world is reeling under a huge ecological and environmental crisis caused by gluttonous exploitation of natural resources including air, water, land, and biodiversity, added Prof Sharma.

Taking cognizance of the accelerating loss of clean air, drinkable water, land degradation, carbon-dioxide absorbing forests, pollinating insects, marine and terrestrial life and storm-blocking mangroves to name a few of the dwindling services rendered by Nature-poses no less of a threat than climate change informed the learned speaker.

As we all know that the Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi always valued the principles of non-injury (ahimsa and non-violence), care for the environment, vegetarianism, conservation of air, soil, and water, the concept of reducing, recycling and reuse, and according to animals the dignity of humans and many more, His values can help impart a nature-friendly strategy to overcome the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic and conservation of natural resources and protection of nature hoped Prof. Sharma.

For securing food for a global population of more than 7.8 billion, exploring alternative food resources, conservation of biodiversity, and its sustainable utilization as well as fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of these resources must be ensured. Many of the Indian environmental awareness movements such as the Chipko movement, Maiti movement, the concept of sacred groves, etc. were inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's idea of Sarvodya, Satyagraha, Non-violence, and respect for all creations of nature.

The present-day concept of 'VasudevKutumbakam' ‘Swachch Bharat Abhiyan', ‘Atmnirbhar Bharat', Make in India and Sustainable livelihood etc. all seem to have been inspired by Mahatma's preaching and practices.

He further added that "It appears that the Convention on Biodiversity (Earth Summit at Rio) at Brazil, 1992 and subsequent seventeen sustainable goals outlined by United Nations are influenced by Gandhi's environmentalism". Concluding his talk, Prof Sharma exhorted upon the youth that besides upskilling their key in-demand digital skills for career prospects, the constant valuing of healthy traditions of Indian heritage and culture and connection with nature to live in harmony should also be strengthened.

The event was inaugurated by Adv. V.S Hareendranath, Chainman, Gandhi Centre, Trivandrum, and the proceedings were conducted by the convenor, Prof Radhakrishnan Pillai, of University of Calicut, Kerala. Prominent amongst others who delivered their lectures and are participating in the conference include Dr. Anand Srivastava, GIOSTAR (USA), Prof Mark J Meyer, University of California, Dr. Anil. K Antony, Technocrat, USA, Dr.Suchita Krishna Prasad (Prof. of Economics), prominent saint Swami BhoomanandaTirtha, Dr. Rajni Kant, Deputy Director-General, ICMR, and participants from across India and abroad.

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