YOUNG WORLD

Be a tree guardian, be yourself

MALEEHA RAGHAVIAH

GEARED UP: Students ready to plant saplings in their school premises.

GEARED UP: Students ready to plant saplings in their school premises.  

KOZHIKODE

Be a "tree guardian" if this programme was launched in your school this monsoon.

Plant a sapling and nurture it. Feel the joy of watching it grow. The close bond of friendship one is likely to develop with the tree is something, which cannot be described. And, when you leave school, entrust the sapling to the care of a junior.

Years later when you visit your alma mater, the tree would be there to welcome you and remind you of the joyful school days.

The Social Forestry wing of the Kerala Forest Department launched the `tree guardian 2005' programme in schools in Kozhikode district this season.

The objective was not just to plant trees and care for them, but to also create in the young minds a sense of love for nature and the need to conserve it for posterity.

As many as 3,740 trees were planted by students in 35 schools in the district. The pits were dug. The forest department provided the saplings.

A register was opened to keep track of the activities. The name of the student and species of the sapling was noted.

GOOD WORK: Deputy conservator of Forests, M. Murali, launches the Tree Guardian programme at Payimbra School.

GOOD WORK: Deputy conservator of Forests, M. Murali, launches the Tree Guardian programme at Payimbra School.  

A year later a programme of tagging the sapling is to be organised. In case a sapling died, the department would replace it.

The tree guardian programme was launched in Kozhikode district at the Payyimbra Government Higher Secondary School by the Assistant Conservator of Forests, Social Forestry, M. Murali. "Enthusiastic teachers and students of the schools participated in making the planting drive a tremendous success," Murali says.

During the programme, it was noted that the 126-year-old Payyimbra school premises had only two trees to boast of. In fact, the school assembly was held under the shade of a huge rain tree. What would happen when the tree had to be felled, as it grew old?

The students were convinced of the need to plant new trees to provide shade in the school compound.

The tree-planting programme is being implemented in various schools and colleges in the district, which have large campuses such as the Guruvayurappan College, Vedavyasa Engineering College, Pantheerankave High School, Chelannur Sree narayana High School and Collge, Mathra Islamic Residential School, Payyoli Technical High School, Dayapuram Residential School among others.

The social forestry wing has sought the cooperation of non-Government organisations to provide assistance to the tree guardian programme by providing tree guards.