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Thousands Of School Children Join Pope’s Green Crusade; Leaders Urge United Action

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altBALLARI, JULY 25 (Sagaya):  

Over 6,000 school children and political and religious leaders, govt. officers and teachers converged from all over Bellary city to participate in Clean – Green Ballari campaign at St. Philomena’s PU College grounds, July 25.

The campaign was jointly organized by all the Catholic schools of Ballari in collaboration with the district administration, Forest Department and Education Department.

The mega campaign was inspired by Pope Francis’ call to make “World Our Common Home and the India’s campaign for Swachcha Bharat (Clean India).

The programme was inaugurated by Karnataka Government’s Minister for Forests and Environment Sri B. Ramanath Rai.

In his message Minister Rai emphasized on the need of promoting social amity and environmental protection. He lauded the Ballari initiative to encourage thousands of school children to join the campaign – to "reduce, reuse, recycle". “The campaign should not be restricted to Ballari only. It should the entire Karnataka state and the country”.

Bishop Henry D’Souza, Bishop of Bellary in his welcome drew the attention of the large audience to the call given by the Pope to protect our common home and to promote clean-green environment. He lauded the effort made by the schools and students by enthusiastically participating in the poster making, slogan writing, quizzing, and planting of over 2,000 saplings. Bishop urged all religious leaders and officials to rise to the challenge of “bequeathing a cleaner, greener and healthier world to the next generation”.


The Diocese of Bellary is one among many in the country to the initiative in the background the papal document “Laudato Si” to address the environmental challenges.


The pope also states that environmental protection is a moral value. If we don’t protect and care for our environment it is a “sin”. As humans we are stewards of God's earth and share a responsibility to help each other.

Swami Sri Jaya Basava and Sri Khazi Ghouse Siddiqi appreciated the initiative and assured whole hearted cooperation in spreading the movement to all sections of the society.

Vinay Luthra, IFS, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Dr. Ravi Ralf, ifs, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wild Life), Sameer Shukla, ias, Ballari Deputy Commissioner, Thakhat Singh Ranavath, ifs, Deputy Conservator of Forests, DDPI and many church leaders, heads of institutions and political leaders attended the programmme.

Bellary Deputy Commissioner Sameer Shukla led the pledge in which all those participated resolved and committed to:

  v To replace misuse with moderation ,greed with generosity ,wastefulness with sharing;

  v  To reduce, reuse, recycle with minimum garbage, no litter;

  v To conserve water by plugging leaks and stopping wastage;

  v To save electricity by turning off lights and gadgets while not in use;

  v To stop food wastage  and minimize junk food;

  v To celebrate festivals  with no air and sound pollution;

  v To use notebooks fully and both sides of paper;

  v To save lakes and ponds; respecting parks and forests as green lungs;

  v To plant saplings every year and protect them;

  v To give life, save life and donate organs to needy;

  v To keep our Ballari clean and green!

There Catholic schools which participated in the event are: St. John’s Group of Institutions, St. Joseph’s Boys’ School, St. Joseph’s Girls School, St. Joseph’s Co-Ed School, St. Mary’s School, St. Philomena’s School and Vianney Vidyalaya.   

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