Emphasizing that with urbanization emerging as one of the most significant drivers of global environment change, President Pratibha Devisingh Patil today said that those living in concrete dominated city environments cannot afford to remain apathetic or indifferent to the mounting degradation of our natural eco-systems.
President Patil, who inaugurated a one day seminar at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here on the universalisation of the environmental initiative already in practice in the President's Estate - 'Roshni', in her inaugural speech said: "The need to foster the spirit of 'Roshni' is necessary, as the impact of environmental degradation is clearly apparent today, whether it is the rise in the global temperatures; haphazard weather patterns; depletion of the ozone layer; change in the sea-levels or the growing spate of natural catastrophes."
Expressing satisfaction about the 'Roshni' initiative, President Patil said: "From a humble start, today it encompasses a shelf of 13 activities. As Roshni spread its wings, we felt the need to institutionalize 'Roshni' as a regular environmental management system. We have in place an Environment Policy for the Estate."
"All activities which impact environment have been put to audit, and our environmental practices have been subjected to external validation. We crossed the first milestone in 2010 when we received the ISO 14001 certification. Carbon-emission reduction is also being monitored, and carbon footprint reduction potential is being analyzed to show the way forward," she added.
This seminar has been organized by the President's Secretariat to gain a better understanding of this green initiative, as well as to deliberate on how best to disseminate the idea beyond the confines of the President's Estate.
The 'Roshni' initiative is an effort to help and equip the residents of the Estate to live in harmony with nature.
The initiative, which was launched in 2008, comes against the background of issues concerned with climate change, with an effort to make the residents of the Estate more aware about the challenges faced and to be concerned about the degradation of the natural eco-system.