President Ram Nath Kovind said that every festival should be celebrated with passion and fervour while keeping a check on its impact on environment.

NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind Thursday said the rising pollution levels in Delhi have led to difficulties in breathing and urged social organisations to create awareness about celebrating all festivals in such a way that it does not affect the environment. Kovind made the remarks at the launch of a four-day global convention of the Arya Samaj where he praised the organisation for contributing towards finding a solution to various issues facing the country.

“In India, the time for winter festivals has arrived. At present, people in Delhi are having trouble breathing due to the increasing pollution levels in the city. Such a situation greatly impacts the elderly and children,” he said. “Social organisations need to create awareness among people about celebrating all festivals in such a way that it does not affect the environment, and peace and brotherhood,” he said.

He hoped that the Arya Samaj will find alternatives to non-renewable energy and contribute toward protecting the environment. Kovind said the convention would discuss ways to tackle superstitions, needs and challenges of the future, women empowerment, tribal welfare and preservation of the environment. He said society has to play its part in addressing pressing issues facing the country and work towards granting powers to women and dealing with environmental challenges.

“It makes me happy that the Arya Samaj is contributing towards finding a solution to these issues,” he said. The president said Swami Dyanand Saraswati founded the Arya Samaj, but he always “worked as a common member of the organisation and never accepted the requests to become its chairman. It was a noble tradition”.

“Today, we are drifting away from our path. We should emulate him as office bearers of various organisations. We should follow the path shown by him,” he said. Kovind said he feels honoured that he had the opportunity to study in an institute established by the Arya Samaj in Kanpur and that his ancestors had also participated in the Hindu reform movement.

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