“Are we striking at the very roots of our sustenance?”

Stressing the need for prudent management of the planet's resources, President Pratibha Patil on Tuesday warned that rapacious hunger could fast diminish them, and reduce space for nature and various life forms it supports.

“The manner in which we are consuming we seem to have forgotten that many resources are finite. Are we striking at the very roots of our sustenance? Our unrelenting withdrawal of the earth's resources has adverse impacts on the earth itself. If not, such a study should be undertaken. Our generational responsibility also demands that we do not consume in a manner that we leave a depleted legacy for our children and grandchildren. We should use resources economically and optimally by consciously adopting practices that are environmental friendly and avoid wastage.”

The President was speaking at the presentation of NDTV environment awards, “The Greenies,” here.

Referring to the Roshni programme she has undertaken on the Presidential Estate, Ms. Patil said it was meant to foster a sustainable habitat. “The initiative has waste management, energy efficiency and usage of new and renewable energy as essential components. The effort was to create awareness and a sense of involvement in each individual living in the Estate in managing our environs in a responsible manner. We must create awareness of environment in both urban and rural areas. It should be discussed in Panchayati Raj institutions, municipal bodies and the NGOs.”

Pointing out that India needed international backing in its endeavour for ecological sustainable development, Ms. Patil said the international community should collectively support the efforts of developing countries through financial resources and technology transfer.

In a live interaction with Bollywood actor Priyanka Chopra, who was one of the anchors, Minister of State for Environment Jairam Ramesh, speaking from Cancun, asserted that India was a problem solver and bridge to narrow differences between contending parties. The Minister was given an award for his commendable work on the environmental front.

Making it clear that he did not have much hope from the Cancun climate change summit, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah said India should save energy and take green initiatives on its own. “People want to make a difference. We have got to make solar energy cheaper so that we can have it in all our homes. It is a big task but we have to fulfil it.”

Earlier, NDTV chairman Prannoy Roy said the President had put her stamp of approval on people (award winners) who were playing a crucial role in the future of the country.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Veer Bhadra Mishra for creating awareness of the threats posed to the Ganga. The Best Green celebrity award was presented to Bollywood actor John Abraham. RTI activist Amit Jethwa was posthumously given a special jury award for exposing illegal mining in the Gir forest in Gujarat. There were winners from different fields in other categories.