Silchar, May 7: Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan Dr. Anil Prakash Joshi, noted environmentalist on Saturday, exhorted the youths of Assam and the whole of North East India not to leave their land in the professional quest, instead, they must explore the potential of vocal for local making use of the rich natural resources the region is blessed with.
Dr. Joshi delivered the convocation address on Friday, the second day of the three-day 19th Convocation of Assam University Silchar. Dr Joshi was felicitated by Prof Rajive Mohan Pant, the vice-chancellor of the university. The convocation proceedings concluded on Saturday.
Talking to The Assam Tribune on Saturday at the Silchar airport, Dr. Joshi said that it is high time, the youth of Assam and North East tap the local resources.
"People of the North Eastern region are blessed with rich mineral and forest resources, and medicinal plants. But somehow, the resource-based technical inputs, training and market intelligence, and marketing skills could not be properly oriented. The youths must not leave their land; instead, they must tap on the ways to work on local resources which will boost the economy and ecology as well which must grow in tandem," he maintained.
Dr. Joshi, the founder of the Himalayan Environmental Studies and Conservation Organisation( HESCO), has been the man behind mooting the concept of Gross Environment Product (GEP), especially after the 2013 Uttarakhand deluge. " Today the GEP has to be introduced across the Western and North Eastern Himalayan region to effectively gauge the anthropological pressure on our ecosystem and natural resources. like the Gross Domestic Product, to measure where we stand economically, there are four pillars of GEP viz how much organic soil is covered, how much rainwater we have been able to harvest, quality and quantity of water, air, and forest respectively which are in line with the GDP scale of economic progression. While the GEP will calculate the material value of the wealth of our forests and help to frame policies for the betterment of our wildlife and environment, this will help in chalking out policies that boost sustainable development making optimum use of the local resources as well. The Uttarakhand Government had already announced the incorporation of the GEP in its approach and focus on the ecosystem and I feel that the Assam Government must also look to implement the GEP," he said.
Dr. Joshi, in his address to the graduating students at Assam University Silchar admitted that the previous generation, in the last five decades has failed to seriously think and work for forest conservation which is why the future generations have had to suffer.
"I do admit and apologize that our generation, since the past five decades, is responsible for not being serious about forest conservation. We are losing our forest cover and the future generation is suffering now. Our resource management policy has been largely disappointing. We have been consumers and not contributors to sustain the blessings of Mother Nature. It is an alarming situation when we see that 35 cities, out of the 50 most polluted cities of the world are from India My heartiest wishes to the graduating students of this university and I do expect that the students must realise the situation and become worthy sons of the country and work for protecting the ecology and economy as well," he said.