PM Modi wins Environment Award
For years India has had to be stuck with the labels of unhygienic, dirty and not taking environmental issues seriously. Are such views justified? Even most Indian would have agreed. But there is hope as recent trends have shown and international recognition has followed.
Leadership starts at the top and the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi has taken some bold steps. As soon as he came into power, he kick-started the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan campaign in 2014 with a pledge of a Clean India by 2nd October 2019. “A clean India would be the best tribute India could pay to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150 birth anniversary in 2019,” stated PM Modi.
PM Modi has also pledge to fighting the plastic epidemic and eliminate single use plastic by 2022.
His efforts are paying dividend as the United Nations has honoured him with its highest environmental recognition, the 'Champions of the Earth' for his leadership of the International Solar Alliance.
"This years' laureates are recognised for a combination of bold, innovative, and tireless efforts to tackle some of the most urgent environmental issues of our times," the UN Environment Programme said.
Launched in 2005, Champions of the Earth, the UN’s highest environmental honour, celebrates outstanding figures from all areas of society who have helped transform the environment and made positive impact.
Hosted at Earth Gala in New York city, the awards were hosted by Hollywood icon Alex Baldwin and UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador Dia Mirza. PM Modi is in illustrious company including Afroz Shah, who led the world’s largest beach cleanup (2016), Rwandan President Paul Kagame (2016), former US Vice-President Al Gore (2007), Ocean Cleanup CEO Boyan Slat (2014), scientist-explorer Bertrand Piccard, and developer of Google Earth Brian McClendon (2013).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi again reiterated that cleanliness was an important aspect of Mahatma Gandhi's life and the father of the nation was the most deserving candidate for the UN's Champions of the Earth Award.
"Cleanliness was an important aspect of Gandhi's life and he used to say, if he had to choose between cleanliness and freedom, he would choose cleanliness first, such was his commitment towards cleanliness," he said.
The prime minister said people stood up to applaud him for receiving the 'Champions of the Earth' award, but the most deserving person for this honour was Mahatma Gandhi and also the 125 crore citizens of the country.