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April 24, 2010
Earth Day, April 22, is perhaps the largest and most widely celebrated of all international environmental events. It is a time to celebrate the Earth’s unique place in the universe as the only known planet teeming with incredible biodiversity.
This year April 22 was also Campus Day at Amritapuri, and Padma Vibhushan Dr. G. Madhavan Nair, former chairman of Indian Space Research Organization planted a Saraca Ashoka sapling to kick off Campus Day and Earth Day celebrations.
“This planet earth is perhaps the only planet in the whole of this universe that has supported life for 5.4 billion years,” Dr. Nair told the assembled students, faculty and parents. “It is our responsibility to sustain it and make it better for the future generations.”
“We have to respect the laws of nature and ensure that we don’t consume more than what is needed,” he continued. “Today, in our country, 70% of the people live in villages and below poverty line. Water, food, proper health care and education should be made available to them.”
“We could use modern technology in these areas to make this possible. We should think about how to capture the solar energy and convert it into a useable form of energy. Solar energy could be used to dissociate water and get hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen can be used as a fuel.”
“In the coastal areas, there is plenty of wind, we should think about how to capture this. We can use turbo systems, wind mills to do this efficiently. We should conserve the water and we cannot afford to have very expensive technologies for desalination, we should think of some cheaper alternatives.”
“Today, I have had the opportunity to plant a tree here in this campus and I consider it as a great honor,” he concluded. This tree planting effort was coordinated by the Forum for Sustainable Development (F4SD), a faculty-student initiative on campus.
As hundreds of final year students prepare to leave Amritapuri and branch out into the world, what better way to celebrate their success than with an act of love for our Mother Earth and an inspiring talk by a key figure in India’s distinguished outer space program. We wish the students all the best.
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