Agartala: India, the land of festivals, on July 9 added one more to its list when Tripura state celebrated a plantation fest to highlight the conservation of Nature.
Conceptualized by Anil G, a sustainable and green development enterprise consultant, the plantation festival chose for its theme, ‘a green culture for humanity every rainy season throughout the globe.’
He joined the Forest Research Centre and Livelihoods Extension to launch the festival at Barkhatal near Agartala, capital of the northeastern Indian state.
Anil had first celebrated this concept at Kartik Sapori and adjoining sandbars of the Brahmaputra near Jorhat town in eastern Assam as ‘Vriksha Rupan Bihu’ on April 22 which was observed as Earth Day, a couple of years ago.
He said the people Tripura have shown much enthusiasm to celebrate the festival.
“There is a need to bring back the balance in nature, our green cover and just planting trees on occasions such as Earth or Environment Day will not suffice. It should be over a certain period of time and annually, not only in Assam and Tripura but also in other states of India. I would also like to take it to other parts of the globe, Africa, Europe et al, connected to each other by this festival which should continue for a month or so,” he asserted.
The festival has four components; planting of trees, at least 10 each by an individual of the village, a picnic lunch, games and cultural fest to wind up the day.
“It should have all the elements of a festival and not feel like a burdensome task to be gotten over with as observation of this or that day, like Earth Day or Environment Day” he further said.
The monsoon is the best time as the trees would grow without having to be watered all the time.
Pawan Kaushik, head and senior scientist of Forest Research Centre and Livelihoods Extension, Agartala, said that he had met Anil in Delhi and had liked the concept.
“We have seen that if even 500 trees are planted in an area, due to regeneration there may be about 5,000 after a few years,” he said.
Barkathal is a cluster of three tribal villages with a population of about 500 people. FRCLE and the Forest department, Tripura, arranged for the saplings. The people had asked for bamboo, lemon, jackfruit and mango saplings.
Kaushik said that he hoped that this concept spread to other parts of Tripura.
“We would also be giving the villagers tall trees which will become big in one year’s time and can be planted at roadsides so that cows and goats don’t nibble and destroy them,” he added.
Anil, who is passionate about his concept, said that the festival, had for its greater objective, the bringing together of people for a common activity and cause, the sharing and caring of nature and environment which do not have any polarity, caste or religion – will result in bonding of humanity.