Collective efforts needed to protect soil, environment, says Defence Minister | Science-Environment

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday emphasised on the need for collective efforts by the people to protect soil and environment and also adaptation of eco-friendly values to make the world better.

As a responsible nation, India, guided by its tradition and culture, has continuously been striving for soil conservation, he said. ”We have understood very well, that soil conservation cannot be done, by focusing only on the soil. Therefore, we have tried to conserve, and increase all the other components related to it, such as afforestation, wildlife, wetlands, etc.,” he said while virtually addressing the ”Save Soil” programme organised at the India Air Force base at Sulur near here by Isha Foundation.

”It is well known that a solution to collective problems will also be possible, only through collective efforts. Therefore, it is necessary today that we all try to protect the soil and environment, and move together towards a better world,” he said. Though it not possible nor advisable to return to the past, it is definitely possible to find new technologies, in the field of science, and make such innovations, which would keep our eco-friendly values ​​intact. ”We should become companions of nature, and have a sense of reverence and respect for the living beings, as well as the inanimate elements of nature. This should be our aim,” the Minister said.

Pointing out to similarities with yoga, Singh said, ”Today is International Yoga Day. I congratulate and wish you all the best for this day. Our body and mind are inextricably linked to each other. Yoga keeps our body and mind healthy. Similarly, our health also depends on the quality of surrounding air and soil, as well.” To those who practice yoga and conserve soil, yoga and soil would pave the way for their well-being and prosperity, he said and lauded Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev for teaching people to be happier and lead more meaningful lives through yoga on the one hand, and also inspiring them to address the environmental problems, on the other, thus contributing to the human well-being in multiple ways.

The ‘Save Soil’ campaign provided a ray of hope as it instils a belief that large number of people from all over the world who have joined this campaign will contribute in maintaining the health of the soil in the times to come, the Minister said.

He pointed out that soil in a much broader and deeper sense is directly related to human civilisation, culture, literature, history, art and philosophy. ”Dal-Bati-Churma in Rajasthan, or Bhat in Bengal-Bihar, or Idli-Sambar in Tamil Nadu, did not randomly become a part of the local cuisine. The weather, water resources as well as the soil have been the main reasons behind local preferences,” Singh claimed.

The kind of crops that the soil will allow to be grown in a place, would determine the food and culture of the region, he asserted.

”There is a very close relationship between land and security as well. Such land, where soil productivity is high, there is peace and prosperity and less conflict. Whereas, such land, where there is a lack of soil productivity and natural resources, there is a greater possibility of conflict and deprivation,” he claimed.

Some commentators believe that there has been a breakdown, in internal security in the Middle East or some African countries in the past, because there was a shortage in natural resources like agricultural productivity, and water. Whereas fortunately our country has never faced such a situation, the Minister said.

Referring to the United Nations’ data on earth claiming 40 per cent of the land is degraded, Singh said this is a big alarm bell for the entire humanity. Speaking on the occasion, Isha Foundation founder and spiritual leader Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev pointed that as a generation we stand on a cusp of time, ”where if we act now in 10-15 years, we can make a significant turnaround. If we wait for another 25-30 years’ time, even if want to we cannot turn it around because the bio-diversity loss is happening.” Urging people’s support in driving national policy changes, he contended that in a democracy for real sensible things to happen people must voice for it. After a ‘save soil’ motorcycle journey spanning 27 nations and more than 28,000 km in 100 days, having participated in 600-plus events globally, the Isha Foundation founder returned to Tamil Nadu on Tuesday.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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