Awareness Workshop on Mercury as a Global Pollutant organized by GDC Doda

Doda: With the generous encouragement and support of Dr Shafqat Hussain Rafiqi, Principal Government Degree College Doda “Awareness Workshop on Mercury as a Global Pollutant” was organized by Department of Botany GDC Doda on 3rd August 2021. Around 100 students participated in the workshop. Faculty members from the college like Dr Sumit Kotwal, Head Department of Environmental Sciences, GDC Doda and Prof Younis Rashid, Assistant Professor Botany and some faculty from other colleges like Dr Wahied Khawar Balwan, Senior Assistant Professor, Govt PG College Bhaderwah, also participated in the workshop. The event started with welcome address by Dr Tasir Sharief Per, Head Department of Botany GDC Doda. He extended a warm welcome to all the participants and Resource person of the workshop, Dr Asif Qureshi, Associate Professor Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Hyderabad. In his presentation, Dr Qureshi called for a focused attention at “Mercury cycling, health impacts and the Minamata Convention on Mercury”. He laid stress on Mercury as a global toxic pollutant because it is released into the environment through a range of natural and anthropogenic sources. He explained how Mercury can travel long distances, bioaccumulate in food chains and cause harmful neurological and cardiovascular health effects in exposed humans and wildlife. Due to the widespread nature of mercury pollution and exposure, he enlightened the students about the Minamata Convention on Mercury which was signed in 2013, and came into force in August 2017. India is also a party to the Minamata Convention and the workshop was intended to raise awareness among general people, students and academicians in India on the historical and present aspects of mercury use and pollution, its cycling in the environment, important exposure routes, effects on humans and management of products containing mercury.
Later on, in the interactive session Dr Qureshi responded to the questions raised by students, faculty and other participants. The workshop concluded with a formal Vote of Thanks by Dr Ravinder Singh, Assistant Professor, GDC Doda. He expressed his special gratitude to Principal of the college for his constant encouragement in conducting the workshop. He extended thanks to the Resource person for making himself available despite busy schedule and illuminating the grave concern of Mercury pollution. He thanked the organizers and all the participants for making the workshop a grand success.

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