Love for green! Nuapada couple transforms barren land into forest

Nuapada: At a time when large scale deforestation is leading to ecological imbalance and global warming across the globe, a couple in Nuapada is working relentlessly towards restoring green cover.

Lalmani Harijan and his wife Ghasen Harijan converted an unproductive barren patch of land into a forest. It is only due to their effort that has now given a new lease of life to Chaulmachi forest which had turned barren some 26 years back.

Worried over the degrading condition of forest, the couple had started taking care and guarding the forest from the anti-social elements since 1992.

“I have been protecting the Chaulmachi forest since 1992. The forest had turned into a barren land as people used to steal woods from the forest. Seeing the condition of the forest, I started planting trees here,” said Lalmani.

With buckets of water, saplings and an axe in hand, the couple never missed a day to plant trees in the Chaulmachi forest since then.

“The land here only had stones on its surface. We started taking care of the forest and created awareness among the people to stop cutting down trees. I guard the forest from one side while my husband keeps a vigil from the other side at night,” said Lalmani’s wife Ghasen.

“The forest had become barren without trees. After Lalmani started taking care of the forest, it has now become home for many birds and animals,” said Parmeshwar Barik, a local resident.

Sinapali Forest Ranger, Murari Prasad Panda informed that Lalmani was awarded with the Environment Friend Award in 2009 for his efforts in conservation of the forest. Moreover, he has been recruited under the ‘Ama Jungle’ programme.