Thursday, May 9, 2002, Chandigarh, India


N C R   S T O R I E S


DU college drive to conserve water
Gaurav Choudhury

As Delhi faces a scorching summer and water taps begin to turn dry, the staff and students of the Botany Department of Daulat Ram College, University of Delhi, have pledged to create awareness and understanding amongst all about the precious resource. A National Environment Awareness Campaign was organised by the Botany Department of the college where Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit was the chief guest. Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that water was a vital component of the life support system and was very closely linked to the development of any nation. The problem of water scarcity was very grave not only in India but also in several other countries.

Referring to the situation in Delhi, Ms Dikshit lamented that the magnificent Yamuna of the historic Indraprastha, the only source of water in the Capital, had completely lost its tract and had almost dried today. Moreover at present, it was more of a carrier of industrial effluent and city garbage, she said.

“It is we the people of Delhi who should try to clear our environment, the air and water, make it green and bring back the past glory of the Yamuna,” she said. She further advised the students to take care of every little thing concerning environment in their daily life. “Conserve water as much as you can, turn off any leaking tap you see, use optimum water for brushing, washing etc and say no to poly bags, a menace to the environment,” the Chief Minister said.

“Charity beings at home. So right away, make a beginning at home, spread it to your neighbourhoods, streets, localities, city, state and the country,” she said adding that while the government could provide funds and the scientists the knowledge, the real responsibility lay with the general public, especially the youth. Prof V. Subramanian, School of Environment Sciences of Jawaharlal Nehru University, in his keynote address illustrated the various facets of water, starting from the historical background to the current status in India. Well-known botanist Prof B. M. Johri said that respect for the rivers and conservation of water were enshrined in the Indian ethos. He emphasised that agriculture and industrialisation in India could be sustained only if we learn how to utilise the available water judiciously.

Prof A. K. Bhatnagar of the Department of Botany, University of Delhi, said that although India received enough rainfall, much of it was confined to the monsoon months and the distribution was unequal. He lamented that in the last three decades, water percolating into the soil had decreased while the surface run-off, which causes floods, had increased. This had exacerbated the annual cycle of floods and drought in the country. Prof Bhatnagar called for a programme for restoration of rivers in the country with a focus on conservation of forests in the watershed. Dr M. Haque, Director in the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, advocated against the practice of dumping urban and industrial wastes in the rivers. He said that recycling would not only provide enough water, but it would also improve sanitation and public health. He called for more allocation of funds for water management, recycling and improved water supply in all cities and villages.

Institute on cosmetics

The craze for cosmetics is as old as womanhood and at present the world’s cosmetic industry has crashed the 100-billion dollar barrier and is soaring at an annual rate of up to 10 per cent. India’s market for cosmetics and toiletries is estimated to be around Rs 4,500 crore in the organised sector alone. To provide technical knowhow and impart theoretical and practical training in the field of cosmetic science, the Faridabad-based Institute of Natural and Modern Cosmetech is offering short-term training courses. The courses offered include certificate course in cosmetic technology, a one-day intensive practical training on an individual cosmetic product and a three-day practical training on an individual cosmetic product.


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