Establishing harmony with nature is need of the hour: President Murmu

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Bhubaneswar, Jul 8 (PTI) President Droupadi Murmu on Monday said establishing harmony with nature is the need of the hour.

Inaugurating the Divine Retreat Centre of Brahma Kumaris at Haridamada village near Bhubaneswar, Murmu said forests, mountains, rivers, lakes, seas, rain, and air are essential for the survival of living beings but humans are exploiting nature for their indulgence and by doing this, they are becoming victims of nature's wrath.

"But humans should remember that abundance in nature is for their needs, not for their greed," she said.

Maintaining that Indian culture has always emphasised co-existence with nature, she said, "In our philosophy, the earth has been called mother and the sky has been called father. The river has also been given the title of mother. Water has been called life. We worship rain as Lord Indra and the ocean as Lord Varuna. In our stories, mountains and trees move and animals even talk to each other." She said that this meant that nature is not inert, it also has the power of consciousness.

Murmu said that climate change, global warming, and the uncertainty of weather were big challenges that the world was facing today.

"Natural disasters like floods, landslides, avalanches, earthquakes, forest fires, and tsunamis are no longer occasional. Now these have become frequent incidents," she said.

"Small changes in our daily lives pave the way for big changes in society. We have to change our habits to ensure minimum use of natural resources. Often, drinking water gets wasted due to the taps being left open. Lights remain on even during the day. We have not been able to free ourselves from the habit of leaving some food on plates," she said.

Emphasising that it is not enough to just discuss nature-friendly lifestyles, the president appealed to the people to make a habit of saving natural resources.

She also launched the campaign 'Lifestyle for Sustainability' of the Brahma Kumaris.

Earlier in the day, Murmu visited the Udayagiri caves -- the group of Jain caves located on the Udayagiri hill in Bhubaneswar. These caves are rare specimens of early Indian rock-cut architecture.

"The caves showcase a civilisational and cultural thread of about 1200 years starting 1st Century BC. Associated with Kharvela, the great king who became a follower of Jainism, these caves are our precious heritage. Ideals of Jainism like Ahimsa and austerity are integral to our millennia old yet vibrant culture," she said in a post on X.

Murmu, who has been on a four-day visit to Odisha since July 6, also interacted with students of Bhubaneswar-based Bibhuti Kanungo College of Art and Crafts. PTI BBM BBM SOM