Vrindavan, 28.08.2014 (VT): In a ceremonial event organized in the auditorium of Shri Rama Krishna Mission Sevashram, Vrindavan Green Awards 2014 were given to five distinguished personalities and institutions for their efforts of conserving the ecology of Vraja-Vrindavan.
The event began with worshiping the picture of Varaha Dev and Vrinda Devi by Shri Anurag Agarwal, who sponsored the event in the memory of his father Shri Girdhari Lal Agarwal and mother Smt. Sudha Agarwal. Shri Sarang Thakur Das, a senior devotee of Iskcon, also joined him in the ritual.
A bhajan concert and Odissi dance recital were also organized in the honor of the Green Awardees. Surdas and Raskhan bhajans were sung by Shri Damodar Sharan and the Odissi dance were performed by the Venu Nad Kala Kendra, while the Dashavatar strotram and Ganga Stuti were sung by the students.
The Green Temple award of this year went to the Tatia Sthan, a temple shrine and ashram that practices green culture. Trees are given special care and worshiped there. The name of Radha is naturally inscribed in certain trees of this place. The temple hasn’t been using polythene in its campus and the electricity is not used by the temple and the saints live there.
The Green School Award was given to the Vrindavan Public School. This school is unique in its endeavor to give green education to its students. Every year tree plantation drive is organized by this school and the students are taught about the ‘green life styles’.
The Green bureaucrat award went to Shri Ajay Shanar Pandey (IAS) for his initiative of the Yamuna Mitra Panchayat during his tenure as CDO in Mathura. Shri Pandey couldn’t be present personally to receive his award, but Shri S.B. Singh, the Secretary of the Mathura-Vrindavan Development Authority received the award on his behalf.
Shri Pandey formed village committees to check pollution in the Yamuna. Massive awareness campaign was conducted through these committees. However the program was interrupted when Pandey was transferred from the district. In a written letter sent by Shri Pandey, he promised to revive the initiative through Friends of Vrindavan.
The Green Legal Intervener award went to Shri Akash Vashishtha, who has been fighting in the Courts against the concretization and illegal encroachment on the Yamuna floodplain. The Green Journalist award went to Raina Paliwal of Amar Ujala, who has been highlighting the ecological issues of different Krishna Lila sites of Vraja-bhoomi.
Dr. Chandra Prakash Sharma said that Varah Dev saved the earth from getting submerged in water. So FoV celebrates it as the Earth Conservation Day. Shri Nishant Vashishtha, said that the distribution of Green Awards began in the year 2013. This is the second consecutive year the Green Awards are being given.
Jagannath Poddar, Director of Friends of Vrindavan, said in his address that all the temples, schools and institutions should take example from the Green Awardees.