Slew of events mark World Environment Day across Odisha

Bhubaneswar: With India being the global host country this year for the World Environment Day, a host of events were organised across the State to raise awareness on the reduction on the usage of plastic.

Spreading the message of ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’- the theme for World Environment Day 2018, a group comprising 20 youths organised a cycle rally from Srimandir in Puri to historical Konark Sun Temple to mark the day. Holding placards with messages- ‘Let’s Pedal Save Petrol’, ‘Save Nature Save Life’, ‘Plant A Tree Save The Earth’, the cyclists covered Ramchandi, Chandrabhaga and other areas of Konark and planted trees along the way and appealed people to curb the use of plastic items that pollute the environment.

Another cycle rally was organised by Mahodadhi Hotel in Puri town during which participants urged the people to create a green world and lessen the use of plastic bags and polythene.

“The cycle rally aims to create eco-friendly environment and we are trying to spread the message of plastic-free society, which is the theme of World Environment Day this year,” said an employee of Mahodadhi Hotel who had taken part in the cycle rally.

“The hotel has banned the use of plastic straws as an initiative. We will also organise various campaigns and programmes in future to spread awareness against the use of plastics,” he added.

Similarly, street plays by students of various schools and colleges were held at Gandhi Park in Bhubaneswar. Apoorva, a social organisation, organised a plantation programme at Dr Abdul Kalam Park in Kalinga Nagar here to mark the day.

The officials of the Airport Authority of India, Bhubaneswar and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) also launched a cleanliness drive at the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) to spread awareness on keeping airport and its nearby environment free from pollution, polythene and other plastic wastes.

Meanwhile, renowned sand artists Sudarsan Pattnaik and Manas Kumar Sahoo too came up with sculptures at the Puri beach with a message to curb plastic pollution.

Sudarsan Pattnaik has created a huge sand turtle at Puri beach on the occasion. He said he has created the 55 ft long 30 ft wide sand sculpture of turtle by using about 30 tonne of sand with some colour sand.

Plastic bottles have been used on the sculpture with message “Beat plastic pollution”, he said.

Stating that Odisha is famous for Olive ridley turtles, the renowned sand artist said every year the sea creatures visit the state for mass nesting. The art showcased the unfortunate plight of the turtles that die each year from ocean pollution as they mistake plastics and other garbage as food. “This mistake causes blockages within their digestive system and eventually takes their life, so we spread this awareness through my sand sculpture,” he said.

Manas Sahoo has created a sand art showcasing the bad affects of plastic use on the mother earth. He took seven hours to come up with the 20-ft wide sand sculpture by using 20 tonne of sand.