Saplings instead of flower bouquets at CWG medal ceremonies?

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

"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.


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