It was an informal function with a difference.
The event was to plant saplings in a sprawling school campus and the department of agriculture (Madurai East block) had made the arrangements. Two students – a boy studying in ninth standard and another girl studying tenth standard were the chief guests.
District Collector U. Sagayam had been insisting officials to encourage people to grow trees and had offered all help from the district administration for this cause. Bearing this in mind, the agriculture officers raised nearly 2,500 saplings with the help of the members of “Pasumai Padai” (Green Corps) of the Mangulam Government High School near here.
The saplings comprised 1000 “malai vembu” (neem), 1000 “kumul teak” and 500 pungan variety. Apart from planting them on the school grounds covering 8 acres, many students, who evinced interest in taking them to their homes were also encouraged by the teachers.
On the occasion, Deputy Director Sampath Kumar outlined the need for growing trees and explained about global warming. Guest of honour Jothi, a former president of the Mangulam panchayat offered attractive prizes (from his own pocket) to the students who sincerely watered the plants and were behind greening the campus.
Assistant Director (Madurai East Block) Kanagaraj said that for every one hectare of trees planted about 800 kilograms of Oxygen would be released per day.
“So more number of trees around us means more Oxygen,” he asserted. School Headmistress Kannagi assured that the campus would turn “green” and thanked the officials for disseminating on the need for keeping the surroundings eco-friendly.
For a change, the two “chief guests” (students) Krishna Kumar and Nallammal were thrilled as they were honoured not only by the officials, but also greeted by their own classmates and school mates.