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Due to climate change and global warming, our beloved mother earth is changing before our eyes. Sea level is rising due to melting of glaciers and oceans are becoming hotter. As a result, people across the globe are reeling under natural disasters like flood, drought, heat waves and forest fire.
The whole humanity needs to be alert to reduce global warming and mitigate environmental pollution to deal with climate change. However, this goal is certainly not achievable without expanding the earth’s green cover. Thousands of activists, cutting across national boundaries and cultures, are working relentlessly to recover the greenery of earth. Back home, we have also some of our warriors chipping in to accomplish this mission.
Concerned over global warming and its impact on the climate, a group of committed youth under the banner of Bhubaneswari Club from Brahman Sailo village under Kantapara block in Cuttack district, have been working tirelessly to expand green cover in their area to mitigate the adverse impact of climate change.
Talking about the motto of the club, Secretary Abhijit Patnaik said, “In the name of celebration, youths are hell bent on creating more and more sound, water, light and polythene pollutions by observing various festivals with fanfare. But we realised that youth are the change makers of the society and there is a need to do something unique rather than celebrating grand festivals in an extravagant way. So we decided to have roadside plantation and create mini forests in our area.”
Initially, the club members planted 2,000 saplings along the roadside. However, soon they realised that planting saplings was an easy task. However, taking proper care of those plants, nurture and grow them require herculean effort.
“We formed a WhatsApp group of 70 members and entrusted them with responsibilities of taking care of those plants. Thanks to the consistent effort by the committed members of the club, all the saplings grew into big trees,” said Bikash Ranjan Mohanty, President of the Club.
However, the members of the club didn’t want to sit on their laurels. Buoyed by their success, they decided to experiment on creating several mini forests in their area. In the next year, they started another project in an unproductive patch of land near Balikhama. It was a huge challenge to grow vegetation on a piece of infertile land. However, they didn’t lose hope. Their hard work and persistent effort paid off and after a few months, the saplings not only survived, they grew into a mini lush-green forest.
Since then, they have never looked back. In the last five years, they have successfully created as many as five forests. As per Kishor Kumar Rautray, a senior member of the club, the main challenge in plantation drive is the protection of the plants from cattle, forest fire and natural disasters like flood and cyclone.
“Strong fencing is the most essential factor before undertaking plantation drive. Planting saplings is easy. But to take care of those plants, nurture and grow them into huge trees is really tough. It takes utmost care and attention on a 24x7 hour basis throughout the year to grow plants outside,” said Rautray.
As per the club members, plantation drive should not be confined within a club or few sensitive and aware members, rather a participative approach from one and all is the need of the hour.
“To fulfill the purpose of participative approach from all, more and more awareness programmes need to be conducted to educate people about the importance and benefits of plantation,” said Prafulla Kumar Mohanty,” a member of the club.
“We feel that not too many people are aware about the benefits of plantation. Making people aware about climate change and global warming and educating them about spreading green covers to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change is the need of the hour,” said Soumya Ranjan Rautray, another senior member of the club.