Kalam asks school kids to protect environment


Pratapgarh (Uttar Pradesh) : President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam Wednesday addressed schoolchildren in a small Uttar Pradesh town and called upon them to plant trees, protect the environment and stay away from vices like drinking and gambling.

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Kalam, who was on a flying visit to Uttar Pradesh, made a large group of children in Raniganj town of Pratapgarh district take an oath to that effect.

The oath administered by the president in Hindi said: “On this day here we take this oath that we will not spend even a penny on liquor or on gambling; we also undertake to plant at least five trees and do every bit to save the environment.”

The oath further said: “We will not allow ourselves to be driven by considerations of religion to divide society.”

The function was organised by the Pune-based Bharatiya Agro Industries Foundation for Research and Development that has done pioneering work towards empowerment of poor farmers.

The foundation was also responsible for generating self-employment and creating health awareness in the area, besides undertaking large-scale soil conservation and land reclamation programmes.

Kalam’s address to children was preceded by a visit to a farmers’ exhibition.

The president earlier visited Kushinagar where he addressed the concluding function of the 2,550th anniversary of Lord Buddha attaining nirvana there.

He inaugurated a new multi-speciality poly-medical clinic run by Watthai Kusinara Mahavihar, a well-known Buddhist organisation. Kalam also visited the Royal Thai monastery in the popular Buddhist pilgrimage centre.