Prez Murmu asks people to take 'smaller, local steps' to protect environment

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President Droupadi Murmu takes a stroll at Puri beach, Monday, July 8, 2024.

President Droupadi Murmu takes a stroll at Puri beach, Monday, July 8, 2024.

Puri: Highlighting the recent spate of terrible heatwaves in India and frequent extreme weather events around the globe, President Droupadi Murmu asked people on Monday to take smaller and local steps to protect the environment for a better tomorrow.

In a note on the social media platform 'X' after visiting the seashore in this temple town, Murmu said oceans and the rich variety of flora and fauna have suffered heavily due to pollution but people living in nature's lap have sustained traditions "that can show us the way".

"Inhabitants of coastal areas, for example, know the language of the winds and waves of the sea. Following our ancestors, they worship the sea as God," she said, while suggesting ways to protect and conserve the environment.

The President arrived in Odisha on a four-day tour on July 6.

"There are places that bring us in closer touch with the essence of life and remind us that we are part of nature. Mountains, forests, rivers and seashores appeal to something deep within us. As I walked along the seashore today, I felt a communion with the surroundings – the gentle wind, the roar of the waves, and the immense expanse of water. It was a meditative experience," she said.

Murmu said it brought "to me a profound inner peace that I had also felt when I had a darshan of Mahaprabhu Shri Jagannathji yesterday. And I am not alone in having such an experience; all of us can feel that way when we encounter something that is far larger than us, that sustains us and that makes our lives meaningful".

In the hustle and bustle of the daily grind, people lose this connection with Mother Nature, the President said, sharing pictures of her walking on the beach.

"Humankind believes it has mastered nature and is exploiting it for its own short-term benefits. The result is for all to see. This summer, many parts of India suffered a terrible series of heatwaves. Extreme weather events have become more frequent around the globe in recent years. The situation is projected to be far worse in the decades to come," Murmu said.

More than 70 per cent of the Earth's surface is made up of oceans, and global warming is leading to a rise in the sea levels, threatening to submerge coastal areas, she said.

The President said there are two ways to meet the challenge of protection and conservation of the environment. "Broader steps that can come from governments and international organisations, and smaller, local steps that we can take as citizens," she said.

"The two are, of course, complementary. Let us pledge to do what we can do – individually, locally – for the sake of a better tomorrow. We owe it to our children," Murmu said.