Saturday, February 3, 2007


Page: 17850

The Hon. IAN COHEN [5.02 p.m.]: Today I was host to two young men, T. Srinivasa Rao and R Gnanasekaran, from India who have been travelling the world for 15 years. The message of those Indian environmentalists is "Mission Save Earth". I had lunch with them today and they were quite inspiring. They discussed how they were dealing with the situation in India, which many honourable members might imagine would be an absolutely impossible task. Nevertheless, it is interesting that whilst there are problems in India there are many people who can do something about them. These two adventurous environmentalists have travelled around the world three times. First, between 1986 and 1989, they travelled by bicycle, covering 38 countries and 65,000 kilometres. Second, between 1990 and 1993 they travelled in a small four-wheel drive, covering 70 countries in all six continents and 160,000 kilometres. Third, between 1996 and 1998 they travelled by car, covering 55,000 kilometres. Those distances include kilometres covered over land alone, not by air.

They successfully completed all three tours for the welfare of mankind in general: to propagate the message of nuclear disarmament and world peace, to campaign for environmental protection and to save Antarctica from global warming respectively. During the three tours they met members of the public, students, presidents, prime ministers, governors and mayors of the various countries they visited. At the conclusion of each of their tours they submitted charters of memorandum to the then United Nations Secretaries General, Mr Javier Perez De Cueller, Dr Boutros Boutros Ghali and Mr Kofi Annan. In continuation of those missions, they are once again undertaking a world tour, a save the planet campaign, which will cover five continents in two years. At present they are travelling throughout Australia. They have a book entitled Mission Save Earth, which contains pictures of them with everyone from Kofi Annan to former Australian Prime Ministers and overseas dignitaries.

They have had a significant effect in India. I was heartened to learn that any individual can petition the Indian Government immediately in relation to pollution. The matter then has to go to the High Court in any State in which it can be undertaken. Thousands of petitions are occurring at any time in India and they must be disposed of within three months. That means that courts give notice that any polluting industry has to shut down or fix up their pollution processes. They must comply with that environmental law within six months. After the 1992 Rio convention, in Delhi 10-year-old vehicles are banned, buses run on compressed natural gas and auto rickshaws have a special green sticker and run on CNG. If a person has a plastic bag in any of the major cities a rupee penalty equivalent to a $200 fine is imposed. At Hillstation plastics are banned and only cloth and jute bags are allowed.

Tamil Nadu, Madras, Bombay and Calcutta have all banned plastic chi cups. Some 60 million people live in Tamil Nadu so it is quite a significant change in their habit in recent years, with the many millions of chi cups being used on a daily basis. They insist on European standard two catalytic converters on all motor vehicles. India is the only place in the developing world that is using unleaded petrol. Jute bags made in India can last up to three years and are replacing plastic bags. That puts Australia to shame, especially with respect to the judicial developments that I have been told about by these two men. They are making a positive contribution to lowering pollution on a global scale. If India can do it, a western country such as Australia can make far greater efforts. We should look at container deposit legislation and use fewer throw-away plastics. Those measures would help to resolve some of the basic problems faced by our environment today.


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This Blogspot is meant for publishing the World Tour achievements by the Pondicherry Environmentalists Mr. T.Srinivasa Rao and Mr. R.Gnanasekaran on the aspects of the World Peace & Nuclear Disarmament, Environmental Awareness Campaign, Global Warming and Save Antarctica, Human Rights Protection, etc., so as to create an awareness to the general public. For further details and its accurateness please freely write to us at:

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