Since its conception in 1974, World Environment Day has been celebrated on every June 5th to promote universal awareness and endorse positive action for the protection and conservation of the environment. The global event is now celebrated in over 100 countries and this year, India was chosen to be the host country and she decided with “Beat Plastic Pollution” as the theme for World Environment Day 2018 to address this pressing worldwide concern.
The Government of Meghalaya in collaboration with the Forest and Environmental Department, the District Administration, East Khasi Hills and the Meghalaya Basin Development Authority celebrated World Environment Day at the U Soso Tham Auditorium in Shillong. Shri. Conrad K Sangma, the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Meghalaya graced the occasion as the Chief Guest.
The celebrations in Shillong began at 10:00 am with an “Environmental Walk” led by the Chief Minister, Shri. Conrad K Sangma, himself. The aim is to create awareness on how walking can help reduce pollution while keeping people fit and healthy. The 7km walk which started from the CM’s residence in Upper Shillong to the U Soso Tham Auditorium. School students and traditional heads from 3rd Mile, along with government officials, police personnel and press members participated in the walk.
The main event was held at the U Soso Tham Auditorium and started with the arrival of the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Shri. Conrad K Sangma from the environmental walk. Other dignitaries present included Shri. P. Sampath Kumar (IAS),Commissioner Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya and CEO of MBDA, Shri R.S. Gill (IFS), Additional PCCF (SF & E), Shri A.B.S. Swer, Director, MBDA who served as the master of ceremonies on the day, and award winning international documentary film maker Shri. Stanzin Dorjai. Also present at the programme was Smt. R.V. Suchiang (IAS), Principal Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya, Shri. Cyril Diengdoh (IAS), Joint Secretary to the Government of Meghalaya and Shri. L Shabong, OSD MBDA.
The programme featured the National Anthem and cultural performance by the popular Khmih Choir from West Khasi Hills, a screening of the winning videos and distribution of prizes to the winners of the “Litter-free Meghalaya” video making competition, a screening of Shri. Stanzin Dorjai’s award winning documentary “Jungwa”, lecture on “reduce, reuse and recycle” concept by Smt. P.V. Bineesha, Executive Director IIWM and “rain water harvesting structure” by Shri. Shridhar Harsha, and a presentation on living root bridges by Shri. Sanjeev Shankar.
As part of the day’s celebrations, a ceremonial tree planting drive was conducted in the premises of the U Soso Tham Auditorium. The programme also featured the official launching the “one citizen one tree campaign”.