Voice of Environment (A Youth Environmental Organization) conducted cleanliness & plantation drive for an eco-friendly sustainable & plastic-free Umananda Island by generating a mass awareness to build the heritage site a clean & sustainable eco-friendly premise. Umananda temple is one of the highest visiting devotee’s destinations after Maa Kamakhya Temple in Guwahati & it is a challenge to generate awareness minimizing the number of single-use-plastics being trading inside the premise of the temple. This situation is part of the smaller steps taking a more significant leap for protecting this riverine island comprising abundant biodiversity. Umananda Island is one of such astonishing ecotourism & cultural destinations in the heart & core of the State Capital of Assam, which symbolizes braided stream of the mighty Brahmaputra & the rarest ecological landscape. Voice of Environment, a frontrunner Guwahati based Environmental Organization, has been working continuously on ecology, biodiversity & risk assessment of this smallest river island. Voice of Environment has signed a Memorandum of Understanding/MoUwith Chief Doloi/Secretary, of Umananda Temple trust committee to create a plastic-free premise, an inclusive effort to beat plastic pollution & protect some incredible native biodiversity in the fragile ecosystem including the rare species of Golden Langur/Trachypithecusgeei. A Plantation Drive with fruit-bearing plants started at Temple premise by the Head Priest and Secretary Umanada Develaya Parichalona Samiti (Temple Authority) Shri Anil Bhattacharya, Nalinakshya Chamuah VoE Member, and Environmentalist Moharana Choudhury. Afterward, a signature campaign, interaction session for biodiversity and Cleanliness aspects with devotees and visitors led by Bhaskar Hazarika and Sabita Dutta (VoE Member). The team also contacted a cleanliness drive at Umananda Island by collecting the plastic waste items lead by Partha Dhar and Bhaskar Hazarika, Debopam Purkayastha, and Senior Member as Shri Girish Kotoki.
Environmentalist Moharana Choudhury talks of in brief about Voice of Environment’s leading campaign on mitigating plastics from significant temple sites. We are inching forward to become a zero-plastic zone by the end of the year. We have been working in three major iconic heritage sites viz; Maa Kamakhya temple, Basistha Temple & Umananda Island in Guwahati to make it clean & plastic-free. This iconic island situated on hills & river-island, comprising a fragile ecosystem with distinct species & biodiversity.
Every day thousands of devotees visit all three destinations carrying out tons of single-use-plastic every day, which is alarming to their respective ecosystem. We are conducting regular awareness drive to mitigate single-use-plastic. Our efforts are bringing a paradigm shift. Last year Maa Kamakhya Temple bagged ‘Swachh Iconic Places’ under Swachh Bharat Mission Phase- 2019 at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi by Honorable President of India. We are fortunate to be a small part of such a prestigious moment. We are planting fruit trees to enhance food reserves for animals & birds on this peacock islands so that food scarcity would avoid shortly said, Environmentalist Choudhury. Voice of Environment and the team is thankful to the Environment and Forest Department Assam for providing the saplings, especially to Dr. C. Muthu Kumarvel, IFS, CCF for his support, guidance, and encouragement for this initiative. The team is working to create the site, an eco-friendly and sustainable tourist destination in the country and the region.