"When polluters throw away non-biodegradable waste to the backyard of someone, it has been the front yard of yours", said Ms. Sunita Narain while delivering the keynote address at the World Environment Day Celebration by the Church of South India (CSI) Synod at the Synod Centre in Chennai. "In many places, the poor people affected by the environmental degradation are resisting the dumping of waste into their front yard. If you want to do things differently, give voice to the poor and the victims of the ecological degradation", Ms. Narain exhorted.
The World Environment Day celebrations began at the CSI Synod Centre, Chennai, with the Prayer offered by Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. J. George Stephen. Prof. Dr. Mathew Koshy Punnackad, Honorary Director of CSI Synod Department of Ecological Concerns, welcomed the distinguished guests and the participants. Most Rev. Thomas K Oommen, the Moderator of CSI Synod, in his presidential address, mentioned that the corporates and the developed world are responsible for the eighty per cent of pollution of this earth. He condemned the brutal killing of innocent people who had been protesting against gas leaks and bad effluents of Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudy. Prof. P.J. Kurien, Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, expressed his deep appreciation for the eco-conservation programmes of the CSI. He said that the CSI is the only Church in India which has been working consistently with an ecological concern for the last twenty-five years. Ms. Sunita Narain, Director General of Centre for Science and Environment, mentioned that the plastic is a non-biodegradable material which is polluting the whole nature. As tiny particles of plastic is in drinking water, it is entering into the human body too.
The Moderator of CSI Synod presented the World Environmental Day Award of CSI Synod to Ms. Sunita Narain.
The Moderator released the CSI Green School Programme handbook. The Rt. Rev. M. Joseph, Chairman, CSI SECC, released the book on the Success stories of Green School Programme. The Rt. Rev. George Stephen, Bishop in CSI Madras Diocese, released the logo of International Eco conference 2018. Prof. P. J. Kurian distributed GSP awards to thirty-three Schools of CSI in South India and distinguished Green School coordinators Mr. Deepak George and Mr. Mosses Packiaraj. Bishop Rt. Rev. Dr. M. Joseph distributed the Photography Competition awards. Adv. Robert Bruce, Hon. Treasurer, CSI Synod, graced the function with his valuable presence. The Most Rev. Thomas K Oommen, Moderator of CSI, honoured Prof. P. J Kurien with a memento for his valuable contribution as a parliamentarian. The Moderator also honoured Mr. Anish K. Mathew for completing his term successfully as the Green School Facilitator. Rev. E. B. S. Nath proposed the Vote of Thanks. With the Benediction of the Moderator, the celebration came to a close at 12.30pm.
Dr. Mathew Koshy Punnackadu
Hon. Director, Department of Ecological Concerns,