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THE UNIVERSITY of Mumbai (MU) Wednesday launched a campaign to conserve the natural heritage of the Sahyadri mountain range. The university has agreed to act as the knowledge partner for the Save Our Sahyadri (SOS) campaign started by Ashwamedh Pratishthan, a non-profit organisation working in the field of environment protection.
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“Environmental protection and conservation is our moral responsibility. We are participating in the campaign as part of the 160th anniversary celebrations of the university. I believe universities can create a movement for environmental causes,” said M U Vice-Chancellor Sanjay Deshmukh.
In the first phase of the campaign, around 50 cyclists will go on a 1,200-km Trans-Sahyadri Cycle Rally passing through hamlets and towns along the range.
University-affiliated students in the National Service Scheme (NSS) will also participate in the campaign. “Colleges closer to the Sahyadri range have ecoclubs. NSS students will present 101 street plays across the state as part of the campaign and also help organise documentary screenings at the villages,” said Mumbai University’s NSS convenor B S Bidve.
In the second phase, an international conference will be held in Mumbai on World Environment Day in June 2017. The conference will bring together many universities in association with MU.
The rich biodiversity of the Sahyadri mountain range, a part of the Western Ghats extending across the Indian peninsula, was recognised as a world heritage site by Unesco in 2012. However, this has not helped protect the range and its travails continue, said campaign chief Bibhas Amonkar.