School students join call to save Aravallis

More than 750 students from schools across NCR came together and joined the campaign to celebrate ‘Aravalli Day’ and to save the Aravallis here in Gurugram on Tuesday.

The students continue their protests against the NCR Draft Plan 2041 proposal and sought a rollback of the draft proposal to ensure the protection of Aravallis for their future.

They protested in the Aravalli region and hugged trees in a symbolic ‘CHIPKO’ movement and made a human chain to save the mountain range in the country.

“Mining has already destroyed more than 25 per cent of the Aravallis which is billions of years old and one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world. We are scared that if we do not act now, in a few years Aravallis will just remain a chapter in our geography textbooks. Over 750 students from grade 4 to grade 10 descended into the forest with our faces painted as different birds, mammals and other fauna species that live in the Aravallis to bring attention to how threatened their home is. We hugged trees in a symbolic ‘Chipko Movement’ enactment and formed a human chain against the backdrop of the Aravalli hills to show our solidarity with our lifeline for clean air and water security,” said Nevaeh Kapoor, Class 6 student.

The students demand to save “what is left of India’s oldest mountain range to secure their future”.

“Along with mining and real estate development in the Aravallis, the threat of the ill-conceived NCR Draft Regional Plan 2041 still looms strong on our heads. This plan if implemented will wipe out more than 70 per cent of our precious Aravallis and other natural ecosystems like man-made water bodies, tributaries and flood plains of rivers and take away the measly 10% forest target for the 4 highly polluted NCR states. Without the Aravallis, life in Delhi-NCR cannot exist and our future is doomed,” said Mansa Rout, a Class 9 student.

Another student who was part of the protest said that the younger generation is taking up the cause of Aravali as their lives will be the most affected.

Rajendra Singh, popularly known as the “Waterman of India” and Chairman of the People’s World Commission on Drought and Flood, also joined the students to commemorate ‘Aravalli Day’. He said, “NCR Draft Regional Plan 2041 in its current form is a real disaster and against our common future and that of our younger generations and cannot be implemented.”

“All the Aravalli hills and forests, wetlands, rivers along with their tributaries and floodplains, lakes, natural and man-made water bodies etc irrespective of whether they are notified or not or mentioned in the revenue records or identified in ground truthing exercises, must get protection under the new Draft Regional Plan 2041 and the forest cover target majorly increased to enhance the air quality and water security of all the districts falling in the 4 states of Delhi-NCR,” he added.




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