New Delhi: At this time of Corona era when people are getting accustomed with the new normal, the Socio Story Foundation on June 20 organised a virtual panel discussion with the objective to spread the awareness about the actions required to limit environmental damage in the post-COVID world. Also Read - 'China Caused Great Damage to US': Trump Sharpens Attack on Beijing Again Over COVID-19

Named as ‘Re-imagining Nature- Covid and Beyond,’ the virtual panel discussion stressed on the future course of actions that are required by various stakeholders of the environment especially businesses to take necessary steps to limit the environmental damage and commence the post pandemic world with relevant actions. Also Read - International Flights: SpiceJet to Operate 19 More Flights to Evacuate Stranded Indians From UAE, Saudi, Oman Under Vande Bharat Mission

With the theme ‘Transitioning Towards New Normal: Actions Required to Limit Environmental Damage’, the virtual session witnessed many eminent personalities sharing their opinion on the topic. Also Read - Coronavirus in Maharashtra: State Records 5,368 New Cases; Death Toll Breaches 9,000 Mark

Padma Shri awardee and well-known environmentalist from Uttarakhand Dr Anil Prakash Joshi advocated the need to introduce the concept of Gross Environmental Product (GEP) to indicate overall health of the environment in India while speaking during the online session which was organised on June 20.

“Hawa, Mitti, Jungle, Paani- Jaan hai humari” Dr Joshi said , adding that along with Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which indicates economic health, the country and the states should collect data on forests, water sources, quality of air and soil and measure the GEP to know the health of our ecosystem.

Botanist-turned-activist and founder of Himalayan Environmental Studies and Conservation Organisation (HESCO), Dr Joshi stated, “When the lockdown was announced during the covid-19 crisis, it was observed that nature revived back. It took only 21 days to see the difference in our ecosystem. So, if we come together and work for reviving nature, we can make our mother Earth a sustainable one.”

Ramanan Ramanathan, Mission Director- Atal Innovation Mission, NITI Aayog, stated, “Since India is an agrarian based economy, the need of the hour is to introduce innovative and intelligent ways of agriculture without destroying the environment.”

He further added that the main purpose to set up the Atal innovation mission by the Government of India was to promote the culture and spirit of innovation and innovative thinking in people. Since innovation needs to be tapped from the younger generation, we have introduced Atal tinkering labs for school children where they are encouraged to bring out innovative ideas.

He also said through Atal New India Challenge, the government promotes innovative ideas for products and technologies and provides funds to start-ups and MSMEs to grow further.

Manoj Pachauri, Founder of Socio Story, said, “The lockdown enforced due to Covid-19 pandemic has brought positive changes in the environment in terms of air quality, water quality and biodiversity among others. Post Covid-19, there will be a shift in the behavioural pattern of our actions on how we interact with the environment. We all need to come forward together to save planet Earth. It is not a responsibility of a single person but the entire community as a whole.”

The other panellists who were a part of the successful session include Akanksha Sharma, Head-CSR & Sustainability- Sterlite Technologies Ltd, Manisha Singh, Head-CSR, South Asia, Schneider Electric, Dr. KK Upadhyay, Mentor- Socio Story, Rishi Pathania, Head-CSR- UPL Group, Vijay Singh, Head-CSR- PI Industries, and Praveen Karn, Head-CSR, Spark Minda.

The session was hosted and anchored by Shweta Padda, an acclaimed Bollywood actress and director.