Garhwal Post, Sunday, 07.03.2010
By OUR STAFF REPORTER
DEHRADUN, 6 Mar: Dr Harshwanti Bisht, Arjuna Awardee in mountaineering, and an environmentalist, was awarded the CII Annual Green Award by the Confederation of Indian Industry, here, today. Governor Margaret Alva handed over the award to her at the CII Uttarakhand Annual Session 2009-10 on ‘Robust Inclusive Green Growth’, which was held at a local hotel here.
In her address, the Governor said that not only Uttarakhand, but the entire country could be proud of Harshwanti Bisht. Expressing her concern at the reducing forest cover and receding glaciers, she maintained that in Uttarakhand, most of the people depended on forests and their denudation was dangerous not only for the livelihood of the people, but also the environment.
The Governor also expressed concern at the decreasing sex ratio in the state. She pointed out that with development taking place, foeticide, too, was on the increase. “Science should not be used to kill the girl child,” she asserted. She also lamented the migration taking place in the hill areas. She advocated reviving the economy of the hill areas and laid emphasis on reversing the drain of young people from the hills. This would be possible only if development was taken to the remotest part.
Speaking about the proposed 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament, the Governor said the status of women was changing gradually. She recalled that it all began with introduction of the Panchayati Raj Bill in 1991. “Today, we have about 12 lakh women representatives in local bodies.” She described it as the changing face of rural women. She said that it took almost 25 years to realise the vision seen by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Expressing her satisfaction that the Reservation Bill was supported by not only the Congress, but also the main opposition party in the Lok Sabha, the BJP and the Left, the Governor said, “I wish I were there to vote for the Bill.”
Alva said that judicious and controlled exploitation of natural sources would ensure development. She maintained that development ought to take place in consonance with nature’s sustainability. She said that the industrialists could play a crucial role in the development of the state through judicious use of natural resources present in the state in the direction of sensible tourism.
The Governor described both trees and women as important factors in maintaining the social and ecological balance, adding, “Both trees and girls should be safeguarded.”
Bisht, who has been awarded for her contribution towards environment conservation, said that the award would further encourage her to do more. She pointed out that not much was being done for preservation of nature. She observed that where hydro power projects were being promoted, it had become necessary, equally, to protect the ecological system. She also laid emphasis on preservation of the glaciers and Himalayan ecology.
Also present on the dais were Rakesh Oberai, Chairman, CII Uttarakhand State Council, Lovelena, Mody, Past Chairman, Rajiv Berry, Vice Chairman and Charu Mathur, Regional Director.
Later in the day, a “Session on Industrial Development in Uttarakhand: Vision 2020”, also took place.