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OMQ Division of Tata Steel organized a four-day biodiversity festival

Noamundi, December 29, 2016

The Ore, Mines & Quarries (OMQ) Division of Tata Steel organised a four-day biodiversity festival, “Jaiba Kala Vividhata at Aqua Park, Central Camp, Noamundi. The festival was kicked-off on December 25, 2016 by the Chief Guest Mr Shashi Nandkeolyar, IFS, Additional PCCF, Ranchi; Guest of Honour Mr Vishwanath Shah, IFS, Conservator of Forest, Chaibasa along with Mr Pankaj Satija,General Manager (OMQ), Tata Steel and other key guests by lighting the lamp.

Aimed to sensitize about the importance of preserving and protecting biodiversity to the community including children around its areas of operation, the OMQ Division organised this festival. The key highlights of the biodiversity festival are art workshops, awareness sessions on biodiversity and cultural programmes for the community and school children. There were live demonstrations of sand art, canvas painting, wood sculpture, earthen pot painting, thermocol sculpture, etc. by eminent artists.

Addressing the gathering during the opening ceremony, Mr Nandkeolyar highlighted the importance of Climate Change and how it is impacting the entire ecosystem. Reinforcing Tata Steel’s commitment towards conservation, enhancement and restoration of biodiversity, Mr Satija said: "We are using art as a medium to create awareness about conserving biodiversity. Events like this help the community understand the importance of environment protection, in a simpler way. This hands-on art workshop will engage community in various biodiversity activities to build a better appreciation and understanding of the work that is being done here and that has to be done in future for environment protection.”

Eminent artists from Odisha and Jharkhand, Mr Manas Ranjan Jena and Mr Brindaban Debnath lauded the efforts of Tata Steel in promoting biodiversity through art and culture. Mr Jena said: "I am delighted to be here today and thank Tata Steel for giving opportunity to the artists to exhibit and promote art and culture in the interiors of the state."

Besides Mr Jena and Mr Debnath, total 22 noted painters, sand artists and sculpture artists from the states of Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal participated in the biodiversity festival. They are Mr Badal Pramanik, Ms Rinku Pramanik, Ms Soma Bewra, Mr Narendra Mahanti, Ms Leelawati, Mr Pankaj Pal, Mr Snehashish Indra, Mr Sagar Paul, Mr Sona Sarma, Mr Baban Maharana, Mr Prabir Patra and Mr Om Prakash. Local artists included Mr Lalu Chakraborty,Ms  Anu Mali,Mr Salil Birua, Ms Shaquila, Ms Nandini and Ms Fatima.

Various competitions for school children like sit & draw competition, collage making, craft making from waste materials and thermocol craft competitions were organized in the four-day biodiversity festival. School children in the periphery of iron ore mines of Tata Steel in Jharkhand and Odisha explored biodiversity at Noamundi. Around 100 school children from six schools, namely, DAV School Noamundi; DAV School Joda; Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya Noamundi; Jindal School Barbil; St.Mary`s School, Noamundi and Padmawati Jain Saraswati Shishu Mandir, Jaganathpur participated in various activities in “Jaiba Kala Vividhata”. The students and residents of Noamundi also got hands-on training on art and craft from eminent artists.

“Jaiba Kala Vividhata concluded on December 28, 2016 with the message “Live and Let Live”. Addressing the gathering during the closing ceremony, Mr Pankaj Satija, General Manager (OMQ), Tata Steel said: “I appreciate the thoughts of artists who through various art forms depicted the theme of biodiversity well on canvas and through wooden sculptures and sand art. These paintings and sculptures on the theme of global warming and climate change will be exhibited during the Annual Flower Show at Noamundi on January 5, 2017.” He thanked the artists who came from the states of Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal and conducted workshops for the benefit of school children and community people.

Expressing happiness on attending the biodiversity festival, Mr Badal Pramanik said: “Tata Steel has been doing a lot to promote art and culture in the state. But this unique combination of art and biodiversity is something which is commendable. Protection of biodiversity is the need of the hour and a programme like this helps in spreading the biodiversity message across.”

Prizes were given to the school students who were winners in various competitions on the concluding day. All the artists who participated in the event were also felicitated on the occasion.

Among those present during the closing ceremony were Mr R P Mali, Chief Noamundi, Tata Steel, Mr K C Das, Head Administration (OMQ), office bearers of Noamundi Mazdoor Union, Mr Hari Solanki and Mr Uday Barik, school children along with their teachers and officials of Tata Steel along with their families.

The OMQ Division of Tata Steel has taken several environmental initiatives along with the community for the conservation, preservation and restoration of biodiversity. Tata Steel is committed to the conservation, enhancement and restoration of biodiversity in its areas of operation. To formalise this commitment, the Company adopted the company-wide Biodiversity Policy in April 2016 which aims to achieve No Net Loss on biodiversity. For all its mines and collieries in the state of Jharkhand and Odisha, Tata Steel has developed Biodiversity Management Plans. Moreover, in interest of conservation, Tata Steel has committed to avoid acquisition of properties whose development may result in loss of critical habitat for species with special conservation status.