The Haryana State Pollution Control Board will honour a girl from Jind district with a cash reward of Rs 11000 for reporting the case of stubble burning by her father to the authorities.
Haryana pollution control board (HPCB) officials said that the recognition for 16-year-old Sonali Sheokand would motivate other children, youth and farmers to play a role in the prevention of stubble burning during the current harvesting season.
The cash award and a certificate of appreciation would be given to Sonali at an appropriate function, an HPCB spokesman said.
Last week, Sonali, a girl from village Dhakhal in district Jind, reported the case of stubble burning by her father to the local pollution control board officials.
The HPCB responded by slapping a penalty of Rs 2500 on her father Shamsher Sheokand who was enraged that his own daughter had complained against him.
Sonali, a tenth standard student of RE Kanya Mahavidyalaya in Narwana said her whole family was angry at her for complaining.
“My father scolded me very badly. He said main tumhare liye itna karta hun aur tum! (I do so much for you and look what you have done) For once, I felt I made a mistake by reporting him. But after everyone praised me, I felt good. My father is still a little angry at me..but he will understand,” said Sonali.
“I always wanted to work to make our environment better,” she added.
Sonali said she had read in the newspapers about harmful effects of stubble burning. She said she had warned her father not to burn the paddy residue on his 2-acre land. But when he ignored her, she went to the authorities who reached the next day, October 21, and fined him Rs 2,500.
Her father’s initial anger has worn off after he realised the danger of pollution caused by stubble burning.
“I have asthma. My 74-year-old father was sitting in the grain market for four days to sell the produce because I can’t go there. At first, when I got to know my own daughter has complained about me, I went completely mad. She added to my tensions. But then, I realised I was adding to pollution that may cause asthma to many others like me,” Sheokand said.
On Friday, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) pulled up the states of Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh for not stopping large scale burning of crop stubble that has sent air pollution Delhi-NCR to a critical level.
The NGT directed the three states to comply with its earlier order of taking coercive and punitive action against those who burn agricultural waste and directed them to file affidavits detailing steps taken for the implementation of its order.