Speed Post News Network

New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on October 3, 2018, conferred on the Champions of the Earth Award 2018 for Policy Leadership by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres at a ceremony at Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra here. Executive Director, UN Environment, Erik Solheim, Union Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj , were present on the occasion.

In his address, the Prime Minister said that the award is for all those unknown faces, who work in far-flung settlements, mountainous regions, tribal areas for years.  He emphasised that the award is an honour for the India’s continual, new, eternal and ancient tradition and is the reflection of our commitment for sustainable energy. He also congratulated the other laureates of the award in other categories.

PM Modi underlined that climate and calamity have a direct relationship with culture and till the concerns over climate become a part of culture, it will be difficult to escape calamities. Stating that India’s sensitivity towards environment is today being acknowledged the world over, the PM underlined that in India, nature has been considered a living entity as well as a being that co-exists. He referred to the Clean Air campaign to sensitise ground-level functionaries and general public to enforce the habit of environmental protection, according to a PIB release.

Speaking on the occasion, Secretary General, United Nations, Antonio Guterres said, “ Today we recognise a statesman, who embodies the true meaning of leadership.” Guterres praised the sensitivity towards nature and environment being a part of Indian tradition. “I must confess that the impact of Prime Minister Modi’s decisions has already reached the executive office of United Nations. Prime Minister Modi decided that India should restrict the use of single use plastic in less than five years. In the office of United Nations, I have decided that there is no single use of plastic,” the UN Secretary General said. He said that climate action is the right approach from the point of view of environment, economy and development.

Executive Director, UN Environment, Erik Solheim said that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been providing political leadership, vision and dedication that is lacking in the world. He praised India’s efforts for increase in the number of tigers, increase in forest area and in the field of solar energy.  “It is ambitious leaders like him that will propel us forward in the fight to keep our natural environment healthy, accessible and sustainable for all. For this, I am immensely inspired and grateful,” Solheim said.

“Prime Minister Modi has shown the kind of leadership and ambition our planet needs right now. There is the bold pledge to end single-use plastic in five years’ time, something that could well be the start of a global wave of action that saves our oceans. India is leading the world into a solar-powered future, proving that a clean, low-carbon economy is also great for business. Our planet needs more champions like him,” Solheim added.

Union Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, emphasized that in our country, Earth is not seen as a planet, but revered as Mother Earth.  She stated that the Government’s goal is to strive for environmental protection along with development.

Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr Harsh Vardhan, said that the Government has introduced several policies and programmes under the visionary leadership of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “Today, our villages are becoming cleaner and deaths due to diarrhoea are history. That speaks volumes for Modi ji’s vision in nurturing environmental health,” he added.

The Minister pointed out that the Prime Minister, in keeping with the Indian tradition of renunciation, has already announced that he is dedicating the award to the Indian value system.  “Yesterday was the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.  Decades ago, Bapu dreamt of a Swachh  Bharat.  Today, his dream is being brought to reality by a man as humble, as committed and as brave as him,” Dr. Vardhan said.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *