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Jammu University organizes two-day interaction-cum-Environmental awareness drive
9/6/2023 10:40:18 PM
Early Times Report

Jammu, Sept 6: The Department of Environmental Sciences at Jammu University organized a two-day Interaction-cum-Environmental Awareness drive as part of the ongoing Machail Yatra pilgrimage. The Machail Yatra is an annual pilgrimage from Gulabgarh to the high-altitude Himalayan shrine of Mata Chandi at Machail Village, located at an altitude of 9,705 feet in the Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir.
The primary goal of this drive was to raise awareness among devotees and locals about the importance of sustainable religious tourism, focusing on proper waste disposal, conservation of flora and fauna, and the preservation of the cultural and religious heritage of the area.
The Department’s representatives, including Dr. Deepika Slathia, Ms. Tsering Dolkar, Ms. Shivali Sharma, and Mr. Mohinder Kumar, engaged in one-to-one interactions with locals, devotees, and visitors. They conducted interviews and exchanged thoughts on topics such as sanitation, cleanliness, health-hygiene, and maintaining an eco-friendly temple premises.
This initiative was carried out under the supervision of Prof. Piyush Malaviya, the Head of the Department, aligning with the department’s objectives to integrate classroom teaching with practical experiences. It aimed to enhance students’ field-based knowledge by encouraging them to visit ecologically and culturally significant regional areas.
The team trekked through the mountains, forests, and streams, covering villages like Hamori, Chashoti, Kundhail, to reach the base at Gulabgarh, Kishtwar.
During interactions with the locals, the team emphasized the promotion of religious tourism while maintaining a balance between socio-economic and ecological aspects in the area. They suggested adopting a holistic approach to environmental management, including mass awareness about cleanliness and sanitation during the yatra.
Recommendations included preventing water pollution, increasing the number of toilet facilities, providing dustbins at designated locations, involving locals in waste management, and discouraging the use of single-use plastics to make the area a clean, eco-friendly, plastic-free religious and heritage destination.
The representatives also highlighted the significance of preserving water bodies in the area and the need for their conservation.
The locals appreciated the initiative taken by the Department of Environmental Sciences and extended their full support during the awareness drive
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