Nilgiris in Guinness

THIS DIWALI, a Guinness World Record was perhaps the best gift Tamil Nadu received.

The Nilgiris district has snatched the Guinness record for planting the `most number of trees in 24 hours'. Over 41,000 trees in 24 hours was apparently worthy of a record.

And it nearly never happened.

Aborted twice due to heavy rains, the record-making bid was finally executed on June 23- 24 this year.

With the weather playing spoilsport, the district administration had to cancel at the last minute the attempt to enter the Guinness Book of World Records. Originally planned for June 15, it was postponed to June 21-22 and once more to June 23-24.

June 23 did not dawn a bright sunny day either, but despite incessant rains, howling winds and slippery tracks, 300 volunteers from various organisations based in Ooty, led by the then Collector of the district Supriya Sahu worked continuously from 5 p.m. to plant saplings at the 80 acre site at Kuruthukulli, near Nanjanad.

Now it remains for the Chief Minister to hand over the record to the district administration. Just goes to prove that despite all they say, perseverance does pay.

Can Chennai try to beat that record in tree planting?

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