Panasonic India announced its ambitious Project Harit Umang (Joy of Green) on 22 February 2019. Among the attendees included Mr. Ritesh K. Singh, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change; Mr. Manish Sharma, President and CEO, Panasonic India and Ms. Ritu Ghosh, Head, Corporate Affairs and CSR, Panasonic India along with school children and representatives from Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs).
The event began with the announcement that over one lakh trees will be planted as part of the initiative with the help of schools and RWAs. Harit Umang Project will also work towards promoting the 5 Rs being Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle.
Harit Umang, in its first phase, will partner with 200 schools and 50 RWAs. With a focus on waste management and responsible recycling, the programme will include creation of zero plastic zones around schools and steps will be taken to spread awareness about energy conservation.
Students from various schools actively participated in the event and used poetry as a medium to express their views on environment. Further, it was announced that schools and RWAs will start a drive to collect 45 metric tonne of e-waste annually. The programme will be implemented from April 2019 in planned phases.
Addressing the gathering, Mr. Ritesh K. Singh of the MoEFCC reflected on the work the Environment Ministry has initiated towards conservation of environment. He emphasized the fact that waste management and climate change are of great concern and should be addressed with proper policy making and able implementation of the Schemes. He affirmed that the youth have a larger role to play towards conservation of environment.
Mr. Singh also took questions from the students. One of the participants asked why the authorities are not able to control incidents of fire in huge waste dumps in Delhi? To this, Mr. Singh stated that the incidents of fire have reduced over the years and affirmed that fencing is being done around the dump yards. This will prevent people from entering the dump yards to collect plastics and metals, which he cited as one of the reasons behind the fires.
While answering another question on stubble burning, Mr. Ritesh replied that stubble burning has reduced a bit in the past, and notified that there is an ambitious plan by the Government and NTPC to use stubble to make energy for which the tender has already been issued.
Marking Panasonic’s centenary celebrations globally, the Harit Umang Project will also undertake identification and creation of 200 Green Smiths as ambassadors to ensure the Project’s widespread reach by creating a multiplier effect.
Speaking to Delhi Greens, Mr. Manish Sharma expressed his enthusiasm and confidence in the campaign. “Harit Umang will help in conserving the environment and will also propagate the message of conservation of environment to the school children,” he said. Delhi Greens also spoke to students from Queen’s Valley School who were very enthusiastic towards the programme and believed that it is a step in the positive direction.
The event concluded with a pledge to achieve a better life and a sustainable environment. All the participants pronounced the steps towards conservation of environment and affirmed their synergy towards the initiative.