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If We Have To Make Any Change, We Have To Act Now: Walter Lindner, German Ambassador To India

During the Gandhi-Mandela Peace Event, Walter Lindner, German Ambassador, pointed that population growth and degradation of natural resources are major problems.

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BW Businessworld Chairman and Editor-in-chief, Dr. Annurag Batra in association with Tarina Patel, Founder of RBP Foundation and Kartikeya Sharma, Founder of The Sunday Guardian Foundation organized the Gandhi-Mandela Peace Initiative event in Delhi.

Addressing a gathering at the event, Kartikeya Sharma emphasized on rooting in Gandhian ideals to make a change. Mahendra Modi gave practical recommendations to mitigate environmental issues. Rickey Kej gives a different perspective on environmental protection. Dr. Devendra Agrawal gave valuable insights on nature of the environmental problems.

At the Panel for Environment and Sustainability, the eminent dignitaries were present,  Kartikeyan Sharma, Promoter, ITV network and Founder of The Sunday Guardian Foundation; Rickey Kej, Environmentalist and Grammy Award Winner; Dr. Devendra Kumar Agrawal, Expert Member at National Green Tribunal; and H.E. Walter Lindner, German Ambassador to India; and Mahendra Modi, ADG of UP Police. The show was moderated by Sudhir Mishra, Founder Trust Legal Environmental Lawyer for Ministry of Environment.

Lindner was asked by the moderator whether there are similarities in the issues of environment faced by India and South Africa. Linder enlightened the audience that the two problems faced across are population growth and degradation of natural resource. “A politician dealing with such issues should be optimistic, he remarked”. “At the rate we are going, we will not have anything to give to our children”, he further added.

Sudhir Mishra, who also has an experience of 20 years as environmental lawyer, started the panel discussion by highlighting that Gandhi was a mass communicator. He remembered the names of lakhs of people. With bringing to notice, the power of mass connection that media has, Mishra asked Sharma, how media can connect earlier Gandhian ideas to present. Sharma answered by saying that media should walk on their own field to find means of longevity, commercial sustenance, and have enough viable mediums on a long-term basis.

Next, Ricky Kej with all his work in the environment was asked whether he has done anything for the ‘air pollution’. He replied that he actually has done a lot of work for air pollution – his song Breath Life is about that. One important thing he said that ‘‘Pollution if viewed as an environmental problem can’t be solved”. “Instead, if seen as a health problem has lot of impact”, says Kej.

Following that, Sudhir asked Dr. Agrawal how environment can be protected through sustainable means. He started by appreciating the fact that the general public is becoming aware of issues like air pollution. Further, Dr. Agrawal said “the solution is not to ban petrol, diesel, and create a hindrance to the public; rather finding ways to that are helpful to them”.

Modi with all his experience in this field of environment left the audience with practical applications to contribute in this direction. “If just one person of every family in India gives one-fourth of his time per month for rainwater harvesting, there would be 16 crore of rainwater harvest which is enormous. The technology to mitigate such issues should be rooted in the Indian soil not necessarily replicating a foreign model. Lastly, there shouldn’t be a compromise with the environment”, says Modi.  

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gandhi mandela peace initiative