Mangaluru: ‘Vanamahotsava’- The Festival of Tree Planting Celebrated at Mount Carmel School

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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 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 members of Eco-Club of Mount Carmel Central School (MCCS), the management and staff engaged themselves in tree planting at various spots around the campus, following a formal programme which was held at the Mother Veronica Hall, MCCS-Mary Hill on Saturday, 25 July.

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The festival 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. In India it was started as a crusade to save mother earth. It is expected that every citizen of India has to plant a sapling in the Vanamahotsava week/month. It helps spread awareness amongst people about the harm caused by the cutting down of trees.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.

The “Vanamahotsava” programme was inaugurated by Chief guest Krishnappa K, a environmentalist who resides in Mangaluru, and a active volunteer involved in various awareness projects connected with environment and tree/sapling planting. The other dignitaries present during the occasion were Sr Carissima AC- Administrator, MCCCS, Sr Melissa AC-Principal, MCCS, Collin D’Silva and Ajoy D’Silva- both active members of Mangaluru Green Brigade, and Kailesh Gowda- a Horticulturist. The Eco Club students began the programme by invoking the blessings of God. Ashel Sequeira of Class X, the President of Eco Club welcomed the gathering. The Students of Eco Club brought out the significance of Vanamahotsava beautifully with the help of Power Point Presentation, display of placards and banners. The message of “Save the Trees” was reiterated through a Cultural Programme consisting of dance, song and a skit.

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Addressing the gathering, Krishnappa said, ” We all know that due to infrastructure lots of trees are axed down and so the greenery is lost. This is a good step taken by all you students to bring awareness about tree planting and green environment. Due to the celebration of this festival in the month of July which is also the onset of the monsoon season, planting trees proves to be beneficial. Planting of trees also serves other 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”. The Chief Guest graciously gave his message through a number of slogans, which were enthusiastically repeated by all the students.

Principal Sr Melissa AC advising the students said, ” Growing trees is good for environment-we can breathe clean air. We are taking all steps to augment the green cover. My compliments to the Eco-Club members and all those who were responsible for taking up the initiative in observing “Vanamahotsava”. The constant felling of trees has been a problem for a long time now and as a result of that it is extremely important for us to create awareness for the same. And everyone must try and actively involve themselves in this practice as well. For every tree felled, ten trees should be planted to regain the loss of one. The survival of plants and animals is also put in danger as each and every time a tree is felled or a forest is uprooted. Vanamahotsava is thus a widely celebrated festival and should be celebrated as more than a day of planting trees and celebrated as any other festival. I request you all to at least plant a flower/fruit plant in your house/apartment to save the environment. Let’s all Go Green!”

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The programme was concluded by the vote of thanks by Thrijanya and Sezal of Class IX, followed by the planting of saplings around the school premises by the Chief Guest Krishnappa K., Principal Sr. Melissa A.C., Administrator Sr. Carissima A.C. and the Eco Club coordinators Mrs. Sylvia Benis, Mrs. Nupur Dutta, Ms. Saritha E.V and the members of Eco Club. Joel ‘Ajoy’ D’Silva and Collin D’Silva, the members of Green Brigade also joined in the planting of saplings. Various saplings of Avalanda, Badam, Cherry, Sheetha Ashoka, Kokum and Sampige were planted in the school premises.

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  1. The feast of “Vanamahotsava” was prevalent even during our school days. The planting of trees is a reminder for all of us to realize how important it is to plan a tree each year and make the world lush green wherever possible. Country like India with monsoons lasting for four months is a true blessing to not only plan a tree but nurture it throughout the year with preservation and utilization of water.

    Let there be a tree named after each one of us so that the tree will remain around much after we are gone. Let there be a tree every corner of the road so that our city is beautified throughout the year. Let the tree provide a fruit so that we can eat at the breakfast or lunch and save the rest of the food for others.

    Let India remain ever green with crops for each season so that we can have sufficient food throughout the year

    • Is there any Mangalorean Catholic organizations celebrating “Monthifest” in the first week of September this year in Houston, Texas? We would like to join the celebration.

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