Staff Correspondent

Madikeri: Protecting the environment is imperative to save mankind from catastrophe, Kodagu Assistant Commissioner Akram Pasha said here on Friday.

He was speaking after inaugurating a function organised at the Chamundeshwarinagar community hall to mark “World Environment Day”.

Mr. Pasha urged the people to plant saplings, besides preserving the greenery and keeping the surroundings clean to protect the environment. The programme was organised by the district unit of Bharat Scouts and Guides, Mahilodaya Mahila Okkuta and Stree Shakti groups, according to a press release.

The ill-effects of ecological imbalance such as drinking water shortage and drought were being felt in parts of the world, Mr. Pasha said.

Maintaining a clean environment should become the watchword of all concerned, he said.

Such a thing would also mean that community lived a healthy life, Mr. Pasha said.

President of the Kodagu Kannada Sahitya Parishat T.P. Ramesh said that the United Nations had declared that over seven billion saplings would be planted across the globe, including India. Man should put the brakes on ravaging the nature. He advised the Stree Shakti group members to emulate Salumarada Thimmakka and take up planting of saplings in the district. Students should be told about the importance of keeping a clean environment and lessons should be included in the curriculum, he added.

The Chief Commissioner of Scouts and Guides of Kodagu, K.T. Baby Mathew, stressed the need for organising environment awareness programmes. M.H. Ramesh, programme executive, All India Radio, spoke.