Old-Timers Mark ‘Vanamahotsava’ at Vishwas Trust
Mangaluru: “If a tree is saved even at the cost of one’s head, it’s worth it” said Environmental activist Amrita Devi Bishnoi.” As part of ‘Vanamahotsava’, seniors, young and old marked the day at Vishwas Trust-home for the elderly located at Valencia-Mangaluru. The name “Vanamahotsava” means “the festival of trees”, which began in July 1947 after a flourishing tree planting drive was undertaken in Delhi, in which national leaders like Dr Rajendra Prasad and Jawaharlal Nehru participated. The festival was simultaneously celebrated in a number of states in India. Since then, thousands of saplings of diverse species are planted with energetic participation of the locals and various agencies like the forest department. The movement was initiated in the year 1950 by India’s Union Minister for Agriculture, Dr. K M Munshi as a crusade to save mother earth.
During this event millions of trees are planted with energetic participation of the locals and various agencies. It is annual and is to be celebrated during the month of July. Monsoon is there during July and is special month for trees and tree planting. The main objective of the festival is to inculcate tree consciousness and love of trees among the people, especially children and youth and popularize the planting and tending of trees in farms, villages, schools, municipal and public lands for their aesthetic, economic and protective needs. And to observe “Vanamahotsava”, the management and staff under the leadership of founder Dr Olinda Pereira, well-wishers and friends planted a bunch of saplings in the premises of the Trust on Friday, 29 July 2016 at 11am.
The chief guest for the Day was Blany D’Souza-a professional gardener/environmentalist, and guests of honor were Dr Olinda Pereira- Founder of Vishwas Trust, Suresh Shetty- former MCC corporator and environmentalist, Krishnappa K- a senior environmentalist and Celine Aranha, a trustee of VishwasTrust. To mark the Day, a Cherry sapling was planted in a pot by all the dignitaries on the dais. The programme began with a song sang by Miss Inchara, followed by a prayer rendered by the well-wishers of the Trust. Later various saplings were planted in the premises.
Addressing the gathering, Suresh Shetty said, “Planting of trees serves purposes like providing alternative fuel options, food for cattle, helps in soil conservation and more than anything offers a natural aesthetic beauty. Planting of trees also helps to avoid soil erosion which may cause floods. Also, planting trees can be extremely effective in slowing down global warming and trees also help in reducing pollution as they make the air cleaner. Each of you should plant a tree in your house compound or a plant in a pot, if you live in a apartment. Vanamohatsava educates the awareness of trees among people and portrays the need of planting and tending of trees, as trees are one of the best ways to prevent global warming and reduce pollution-it is celebrated as a festival of life. ”
Blany D’souza speaking during the occasion said, ” The ‘Vanamahotsava’ festival of trees is a beautiful initiative to save the environment, to which we owe a lot. Generally, native trees are planted as they readily adapted to the local conditions, integrate into eco-systems and have a high survival rate. Besides, such trees are helpful in supporting local birds, insects and animals as well. Growing trees is good for environment-we can breathe clean air.”. Further talking about his terrace garden where he a grown a variety of fruits and vegetables, Blany said, ” Every who has a terrace should consider making a garden, which you will enjoy and keep you busy. You need to talk to the plants/trees, like I do, where you can get good yield from them. Just like we take care ourselves, we need to also take care of the plants. I am ready to help anyone who will be interested in starting their garden on the roof-top/terrace. You will surely enjoy once you start it”.
Krishnappa K, a environmentalist who resides in Mangaluru, and a active volunteer involved in various awareness projects connected with environment and tree/sapling planting encouraged the audience to plant trees, and he also recited few slogans pertaining to environment, and also made them to take a oath that they would love mother nature and take good care of the trees, which was enthusiastically repeated by all the seniors and youth. Also during the occasion, the birthday of Celine Aranha, a trustee of Vishwas was celebrated, thereby putting smiles of miles on her face. Dr Olinda Pereira, the Founder andDirector of Vishwas Trust welcomed the gathering, Felcy-a staff at Vishwas proposed the vote of thanks, while the entire event was compered by Sushmitha, a MSW student.