Imphal, June 6,
It was a record breaking initiative and the Education Minister Th. Radheshyam has done it. Over 50,000 saplings were planted in just one hour time at 950 schools and 80 colleges to mark the World Environment Day celebration on Wednesday.
The initiative taken up by the Education department with the Forest Department and All Manipur Working Journalist Union (AMWJU) not only aims in planting of trees but also monitoring the survival of these trees that are planted.
Speaking at the inauguration of the campaign of Mass Tree Plantation programme at S. K. Ideal High School, Konthoujam, Education Minister Radheshyam stated that on the World Environment Day planting a tree sapling is very easy but making it survive, grow and attain its maturity is a big challenge. He said that the Education Department in collaboration with the Forest Department and All Manipur Working Journalist Union (AMWJU) is all set to take up the big challenge of planting more than 50,000 saplings, and monitoring for the survival and growth of these trees.
Th. Radheshyam explained that every sapling being planted today has a name tag of the student, teacher and staff which indicates that these individuals are in charge of the trees planted. The teachers and students are the owners of the tree saplings and it is their responsibility to nurture the plants to make it survive and grow until it attains its maturity. He highlighted that the target to plant more than 50,000 saplings was carried out in and around the educational institutions throughout the State.
With the students as the taskforce to care for the saplings planted, Th. Radheshyam said that it is the need of hour that the students become a part of the positive change that is needed for the environment. He said that afforestation and preservation of the forest are two important things to be followed in order to safeguard the environment and planting more trees is the best way to be followed. He also expressed his delight for the guardians and elders of the students also took part in the campaign. He opined that involvement of people from all walks of life is a must for the society to advance.
He said that the Manipuri since time immemorial has been celebrating the festival of Laiharaoba to please the Gods and Goddesses of Umang Lai. He explained that the name Umang Lai in itself defines the importance of the forest in the culture and tradition of Manipur. However, it is very unfortunate to witness that many forest of the Umang Lai has been diminished and vanished with time. He urged the concern authority to reinstate the forest of Umang Lai which is a significant symbol for the deity we believe.
Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Shri Anurag Bajpai said that it is for the first time that such initiative to plant more than 50,000 trees with the students, teachers and officials of all the educational institution of the state is being taken up making the students to directly involve with the campaign of mass tree plantations. He said such action of involving huge number of people will also help in creating massive awareness about the importance of environment and the need to safeguard the nature.
He said that the planting of more trees and covering the land with green plant is the most effective way to fight ‘Air Pollution’ because barren land produce huge amount of carbon dioxide. In order to safeguard the environment and make the earth a better place for all the species, he said that the most important and easiest way but at the same time the hardest part is to plant trees. He also added that most of the saplings being planted today were mostly of local varieties which are favorable to be grown in the state.
MLA Konthoujam, Sapam Ranjan Singh, Director Education Department, Shir Thokchom Kirankumar Singh, officials of the Education Department, Principal, teachers, students and the guardians attended the celebration of World Environment Day, 2019 which is also being celebrated throughout the world under the theme ‘Air Pollution’. As a follow up programme a survey for the saplings planted today will be carried out during the festival of Van Mahotsav in July and in November to verify the number of surviving saplings.