Saplings instead of flower bouquets at CWG medal ceremonies?
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Last Updated: Thursday, July 29, 2010, 14:07
  
New Delhi: Saplings could replace the traditional flower bouquets in the medal ceremonies of this year's Commonwealth Games in a unique initiative to raise environmental awareness during the event.

The Games Organising Committee recently received this proposal from the Ministry of Environment and Forest.

The medal-winning athletes would be requested to plant the saplings at different corners of the Indian capital to create mass awareness.

"We are seriously considering the proposal as it will promote the environmental cause and we think, the Commonwealth Games is a good platform to do that," OC Special Director General Sudhir Mittal said here today.

"The athletes would plant the saplings at the areas marked for the cause in the city so that the saplings don't get uprooted and are maintained properly," he added.

Mittal was speaking at a conference to announce a partnership between the United Nations Development Programme and the OC to carry out a low carbon campaign using the October 3-14 sporting extravaganza.

"This partnership is expected to reach a wide section of Indian society including the athletes, officials, spectators and the common public in general," said Patrice Coeur-Bizot, UNDP's Resident Representative in the country.

"Sports is a unique medium which can help us communicate with the population. In this regard we are organising a range of activities along the route of Queen's Baton Relay across the country and specifically in the National Capital Region," Patrice said.

Apart from the plantation programme, the UNDP will also organise a number of events including green concerts combining entertainment with climate relevant messages, TV and radio campaign and carbon fairs to spread awareness.

Carbon kiosks will also be set up at different locations to help anyone calculate his or her carbon footprints, said Patrice.

"Initially we decided to plant one million trees along the route of the QBR which has generated a huge response. With the NGOs coming forward to help us we are likely to exceed the target by more than one thousand," Mittal said.

"We are mainly focused on the youths and the athletes to make the campaign successful," he added.

According to UNDP's estimate, the initiative would lead to reduction of 34 per cent of carbon dioxide that would otherwise have been released into the atmosphere.

Among others, Environment Ministry's Joint Secretary Hem Pande was present on the occasion.

PTI


First Published: Thursday, July 29, 2010, 14:07


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