KOLKATA: President Pranab Mukherjee spent time on Friday spreading an “alternative” message among the masses. While in the morning he spoke about the relevance of homoeopathy, in the afternoon he stressed the importance of switching to alternative ways of producing electricity as the only sustainable way of reducing India’s carbon footprint.
While the first programme was organized to felicitate star students of homoeopathy colleges across the country and two from Bangladesh, the second was organized by the Indian Institute of Engineering, Science and Technology (IIEST), Shibpur.
“At least 300 million people in the country are starved of electricity even as I speak. While the demand is high, one has to remember that we cannot increase our carbon emission any further. So, alternative energy is our only hope” Mukherjee said.
Mukherjee also congratulated IIEST, which has been running a first-of-its-kind project in the country —generating electricity from three alternative sources (solar, wind and bio gas) and flowing it into a microgrid to enable round-the-clock electrification of at least 100 rural households.
He encouraged IIEST to focus on solving the problem of clean drinking water for mass consumption. “While India houses at least a sixth of the world’s population, we don’t even have one-sixteenth of the world’s water resources. Even after 70 years of Independence, a large percentage of our population is denied clean drinking water,” he said.
Mukherjee added that while he was proud that India is launching satellites, deficiencies in areas such as drinking water bothered him and he would want an attitudinal change among researchers to change certain realities.Earlier, while speaking to homoeopathy students, Mukherjee visited some chapters in history. He spoke of Calcutta Homeopathic College, set up in 1878. “It was the country’s first,” Mukherjee said as he referred to John Martin Honigberger, who lived in Kolkata in the 19th century and was…