The Emirates Environmental Group (EEG), a leading environmental organization in the Region, opens its 2011 Community Lecture Series with innovations and sustainability lessons from the Former President of India, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Azad. The Event fortifies EEG’s aspiration to build a unified community of environmental advocates among the 180 nationalities living in the UAE.
As the 11th President of India who served the country from 2002-2007, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Azad is an innovations expert as he was the Project Director to develop India's first indigenous Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-III), which successfully injected the Rohini satellite in the near earth orbit in July 1980 - bracing India’s exclusive membership to the Space Club.
The Lecture was open to EEG’s Corporate and Academic Members as well as to the wider VIP network. The Event was attended by high-level officials, several dignitaries from various international government representations and multilateral development organizations in the GCC Region.
The Chairperson of EEG, Mrs. Habiba Al Marashi, graced the event by giving the distinguished Guest Speaker an overview of EEG’s educational programmes which are geared towards empowering the youth by stimulating innovations on ecological conservation and adaption of sustainable lifestyles. Mrs. Al Marashi also made a special mention about the inspirational best sellers written by the former president - “Wings of Fire”, “India 2020 – A Vision for the New Millennium”, “My Journey” and “Ignited Minds – Unleashing the Power within India”.
“2011 is a very important year for EEG as we are celebrating our 20th Anniversary and a decade of imparting positive values through our various pro-active programmes, and most importantly, through our Education for Sustainable Development initiative. We are blessed to start the year-long celebration with the presence of His Excellency, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Azad, who successfully catalyzed innovation for sustainable development which brought India to its global status. His mission to ignite young minds for national development by meeting high school students across the country is the compelling factor for EEG to invite the former President to our first Community Lecture in 2011. His dream of seeing India at the forefront of every race is slowly becoming a reality, with the country making strides in almost every field. Though a devout Muslim, His Excellency has an extensive knowledge about other religions. He even plays the musical instrument, the veena, and writes poetry. A scientist and an artist, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Azad is a true inspiration to all of us.”
During the interactive session, the Former President congratulated EEG for its 2 decades of raising consciousness about the environment – especially for the young minds – by inculcating the vision of Sheikh Zayed, the leader that shaped UAE’s economy. He also shared the lessons he learned as a leader which inspired the participants as the insights are applicable in day-to-day lives. One of the important learnings that the audience assimilated was on the role of energy on sustainable development. The Former President provided a brief about the India’s Policy on Energy Independence which is about possible solutions to minimize the use of fossil fuels. Further, the innovative idea of harnessing solar power from space rather than surface solar power was imparted to the audience.
In line with EEG’s programmes, improving the World’s Forest Cover through the 10 Billion Tree Project and the generation of energy from municipal wastes was expounded on the lecture.
“Improving quality of life does not mean we take from nature more that what we can give back… We do not only pay for the cost of fuel… We also pay for the implications it gives to the environment. Thus, I urge humanity to be weather makers rather than weather destroyers”.
Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Azad is the third President of India to be honored with a Bharat Ratna before being elected to the highest office. After his tenure as the President, he is now a visiting Professor at J.S.S. University, Mysore.