Gangtok runs for plastic-free environment

Gangtok, 03 Jun [IPR]: Forest, Environment and Wildlife Management Department today organized a mini-marathon in the capital as a part of World Environment Day-2018 on the theme ‘Run To Beat Plastic Pollution’.

The marathon was flagged off from MG Marg by Forest Minister, TW Lepcha, with Gangtok Mayor, SS Chaudhary, department officials from Forest Department and Sports Department.

418 runners - 291 men and 127 women - took part in the 3.5 KM run which began from M.G Marg covering Zero Point, Tashi Namgyal Academy Gate, Palace Gate, Kazi Road, State Legislative Assembly and Namnang before culminating back at MG Marg.

The runners comprised of school kids, Indo Tibetan Border Police jawans, senior citizens, fitness enthusiasts and college students.

The marathon aimed to engage the general public in spreading awareness on curbing plastic pollution.

Uttam Bhujel from District Court area stood first in the men’s category followed by Ram Bahadur Neopaney from Tashi Namgyal Senior Secondary School coming in second and Ganga Hang Subba from Ranka Senior Secondary School in third position.

In the women’s category, Enchey Senior Secondary School student, Anjali Subba, bagged first position with Ranjana Tamang and Eaksu Hangma both from Development Area securing second and third position respectively.

Allen Targain, Kunga Nima Kazi, Babita Adelen, Pratstha Rai and BS Sikdal were all chosen from consolation prizes based on their performances.

Winners of the mini-marathon will be felicitated on 21 June during the Mith Day celebration at Pangthang, the organizers informed.

First, second and third position holders in both men’s and women’s category will be receiving cash prizes of Rs 20,000, 15,000 and 10,000 respectively.

Consolation prize winners will also be receiving Rs 5,000 each for their performances.

In his short address, Mr Lepcha informed that Bollywood singer and Green Ambassador of Sikkim, Mohit Chauhan, is scheduled to attend the Mith Day celebration at Pangthang on 21 Jun and is also set to perform at Manan Kendra the same day.

Chief Minister Pawan Chamling is also scheduled to attend the event, the Minister informed.

Under the Sikkim Forest Tree (Amity and Reverence) Rules for 2017, State Government has framed the policy of forging brotherhood/sisterhood relationship with trees by entering into a ‘Mith’ or ‘Mithni’ relationship.

“The CM had himself formed ‘Mith/ Mithni’ bond with a rhododendron tree located at Mintokgang few months back,” he said.

The CM will also hand over the Green School Rolling trophy to the winning school, he informed.

Meanwhile, Forest officials informed that Paryawaran Mahotsav was officially launched today with Forest Minister and other officials planting number of saplings at Temi and Damthang in South Sikkim.

It may be mentioned here that India is the official global host of World Environment Day 2018.

With “Beat Plastic Pollution” as the theme for this year’s edition, various activities are currently underway, led by the Forest Department including the Riverfront Cleaning of Rani Khola and the mini-marathon.