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1st Biodiversity Mela held at Basohli

Lal Singh for people’s participation in protection of forests

Minister for Forests, Ecology and Environment, Choudhary Lal Singh today said that protection of forests will ensure conservation of biodiversity and environment, adding that in this regard people’s participation are vital for this noble cause. This was stated by the Minister while addressing a huge gathering after inaugurating Ist Biodiversity Mela at village Purthu in Basohli of district Kathua, here today. The Mela was organized by the Jammu and Kashmir State Biodiversity Board wherein 25 stalls of various departments and locals products of Kathua district were displayed. Pr. Chief Conservator of Forests, A.K. Singh, Director State Forest Research Institute and Member Secretary State Biodiversity Board Suresh Kumar Gupta, Director, Environment and Ecology O.P. Sharma, Chief Conservator of Forests, Jammu, Roshan Jaggi, Deputy Commissioner Udhampur Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Deputy Commissioner, Kathua Ramesh Kumar, Head of Department Botany, Prof. Yash Paul, University of Jammu and besides heads of the department of forests and its allied department, district officers of Kathua district were present on the occasion. The Minister said that God has gifted the State with natural beauty, adding that our responsibility is to work collectively for its preservation. He said the first thing is to make people aware about the importance of forests and biodiversity in our life followed by their practical participation in its conservation. Underlining need for expanding the ambit of the activities of State Diversity Board, the Minister asked the Members of the Board to work wholeheartedly so that the purposes for which it was constituted are accrued. While appreciating District Administration’s mission to improve the sex ratio in the district, the Minister termed sex determination as menace against the rich tradition of Indian value system and appealed people to come forward and contribute their part for the success of initiative. Deputy Commissioner Kathua Ramesh Kumar while addressing the gathering said that Kathua district has hosted first biodiversity mela, one of its kind in the state which will help in long way to educate people and improve the forest wealth. Director, Forest Protection Force and SFRI, Suresh Gupta highlighted the importance of the biodiversity and the steps taken by the State Diversity Board (SDB) for conservation of forests and environment. Earlier, the artists of Cultural Wing, Jammu included Jeevan Sharma, Vijay Anand, Kamal Kumar, Ajay Sharma, Bodh Raj, Ajay Kumar, Mohinder Kumar, Bunty Kumar, Sunil Sharma, Monika Sharma and Vikram Charbathia presented colourful cultural items in Dogri, Punjabi, Kashmiri and Bhajans under the supervision of cultural officer Raman Joshi. Later, the Minister distributed cash prize to the ASHA worker and mother of fully immunized girl child. Prizes were also given to the outstanding Anganwadi Worker, winners of debate and painting competition on bio diversity were also felicitated besides uniforms and school bags were also distributed among poor girls child under BBBP initiatives of the district administration to motive and improve female literacy.