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Earth Day-2017: Students, Environmentalists, MNCs participate in awareness drives, campaigns in social media to Save Planet

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Earth Day 2017, VOA

New Delhi, April 22, 2017: The 48th Earth Day celebrations on Saturday saw participation from school children in awareness drives, campaigns in social media, emotional appeals from MNCs and a request from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to keep the planet clean and green.

While describing the Earth Day “a day of gratitude to mother earth”, Modi said: “It is our duty to live in harmony with the plants, animals and birds we share the earth with. We owe this to our future generations.”

He hoped that this year’s theme of “Environmental and Climate Literacy” would help in creating awareness about protecting nature and natural resources.

According to the Earth Day Network, a global environmental movement, April 22 marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environment movement in 1970.

Also, hundreds of volunteers, including students and officials of the US embassy, were out on the streets here to promote air quality awareness among people of the national capital and conducted a survey.

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As part of the Earth Day activities, the US embassy, in cooperation with programme partner Clean Air Asia, organised a two-day campaign “Better Air, Better Earth” to promote air quality awareness.

The campaign involved volunteers from the embassies of the US, Sweden, Spain, the High Commission of Canada and Clean Air Asia’s Youth Clean Air Network (YCan), who were posted at various locations here to record PM 2.5 levels and take a perception survey.

The campaign would continue on Sunday when the volunteers would record people’s perception of air pollution in the city.

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“We are proud to support Clean Air Asia’s efforts to raise awareness about air quality in India. Projects like these are at the heart of this year’s Earth Day theme — environmental literacy,” Richard Pinkham, Director of Programmes, New Delhi American Centre, said.

Manaswi Singha, a student of Delhi University, and Nishant, an engineering student of Delhi Technological University, who were conducting the survey, said that they chose to be a part of the campaign as they wanted to create awareness and understand the real cause of pollution.

Also, NGOs, Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and Wildlife SOS organised a Snake Awareness Workshop. The aim of the workshop was “to promote wildlife wakefulness among public and to mitigate the effects of wildlife human conflict”.

During the workshop, the team of Wildlife SOS demonstrated how snakes play a key role in the functioning of the entire ecosystem.

Also, there was a campaign to create awareness among the masses to save water.

“Eat less meat, opt for carpooling and unplug unused electronic devices — do your bit and make a huge difference to saving Earth,” suggested Google’s Earth Day doodle.

The doodle followed the story of a fox, who dreamt about an Earth that had been polluted and adversely affected by climate change.

Doing these small things could go a long way to help save the only known planet in the universe that harbours life, it said.

“Whatever you do today, we hope you’re able to take a moment to savour and cherish this boundless, stunning Earth that we inhabit,” Google said in a statement.

At an estimated 4.543 billion years of age, the Earth is also the densest planet in the solar system and the largest of the four terrestrial planets.

–IANS

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Malaysia Launches Vaccination Campaign After 1st Polio Infection in 27 Years

The last case of polio registered in Malaysia occurred in 1992. Eight years later, the country was declared polio-free along with the other nations in the Western Pacific Region

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FILE - An Indian medical volunteer administers a dose of polio vaccine to a child in Hyderabad, India, Jan. 29, 2017. (Representational image). VOA

Malaysian health authorities on Monday launched a vaccination campaign in rural areas of the jungle-covered island of Borneo after detecting the first case of polio since the Southeast Asian country declared itself free of the viral disease in 2000.

The infected is a three-month-old boy in the town of Tuaran, who was hospitalized with fever and muscle weakness and tested positive for the virus on December 6, the Director-General of Malaysia’s Health Ministry, Noor Hisham Abdullah, said in a statement issued on Sunday.

“The patient is currently under treatment in an isolation ward and in a stable condition, but still requires respiratory support,” the official added in his statement.

Malaysia is the second Asian country to have recorded a polio infection this year after the Philippines, which declared an outbreak of the circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) on September 19, reports Efe news.

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A child receiving vaccine drops. Wikimedia Commons

According to Noor Hisham, tests conducted by the World Health Organization’s Polio Regional Reference Laboratory in Melbourne showed that the virus detected in the Malaysian infant was genetically linked to the strain in the Philippines, which neighbours Borneo.

Noor Hisham said that a survey of polio-infected children in Sabah, one of Malaysia’s two states located on the north of Borneo, the world’s third-largest island, found that 23 out of 199 children aged between two months and 15 years had not been vaccinated.

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“This is a worrying situation, as the spread of polio can only be stopped with immunization,” he said. “Vaccination rates should always be higher than 95 per cent to prevent infection.”

The last case of polio registered in Malaysia occurred in 1992. Eight years later, the country was declared polio-free along with the other nations in the Western Pacific Region. (IANS)