National Cadet Corps (NCC) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the presence of Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on September 22, 2022 to tackle the issue of plastic pollution and achieve the universal goal of clean water bodies through ‘Puneet Sagar Abhiyan’ and ‘Tide Turners Plastic Challenge programme’.
The MoU was signed between DG NCC Lt Gen Gurbirpal Singh and Resident Representative, UN World Food Programme Mr Bishow Parajuli. Raksha Rajya Mantri Shri Ajay Bhatt, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar; other senior officials of Ministry of Defence and representatives of UNEP were present on the occasion.
The ‘Puneet Sagar Abhiyan’ is among the slew of initiatives taken by the Government to realise the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, which he referred to as ‘Panchamrit’ during the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference, COP26, held in Glasgow, Scotland between October 31 to November 13, 2021.
The Prime Minister had presented five nectar elements as India’s unprecedented contribution to deal with climate change. These are:
- India will take its non-fossil energy capacity to 500 GW by 2030.
- India will meet 50 per cent of its energy requirements from renewable energy by 2030.
- India will reduce the total projected carbon emissions by one billion tonnes from now till 2030.
- By 2030, India will reduce the carbon intensity of its economy by more than 45 per cent.
- By 2070, India will achieve the target of Net Zero.
Puneet Sagar Abhiyan
The NCC had, on December 01, 2021, launched ‘Puneet Sagar Abhiyan’, a nationwide flagship campaign, initially for one month, to clean sea shores of plastic & other waste material, while raising awareness about the importance of cleanliness. It was subsequently extended as a Pan-India round-the-year campaign to cover rivers and other water bodies as well.
Since the launch of ‘Puneet Sagar Abhiyan’, over 100 tonnes of plastic waste have been collected from nearly 1,900 locations by more than 12 lakh NCC cadets, alumni and volunteers, impacting 1.5 crore people. Of the approximately 100 tonnes of collected plastic waste, more than 60 tonnes have been handed over for recycling.