Celebrating Bhaia Dooj with trees in Gandhi Park, Dehra Dun
“All my life I’ve tied this red thread on my brother’s wrist, but this is the first time I’ve tied it to a tree and it feels great” exclaimed Prasanna Kapoor, a Law student, who had joined over 50 other volunteers of Citizens For Green Doon, in celebrating Bhaiya Dooj with trees in Gandhi Park recently.
Started in response to the excessive felling of green trees in Dehra Dun, Citizens For Green Doon has been organizing public events to sensitize people to the disastrous effects of loss of Doon’s green cover. “As a part of our campaign to enhance people’s bond with environment, we decided to celebrate the festival with trees of Gandhi Park and pray for their long lives” says Anjali Bhatia, a member of CFGD. “We chose Gandhi Park as it is a public place and it gave us a lot of happiness when passerby’s joined us in this” she said.
“Over 50,000 trees have been cut in Doon Valley alone since Dehra Dun has become the State’s capital and this has played havoc with the environment” said Anish Lal, a Networking specialist turned Environmental activist. “Most of the trees could have been saved by simple innovative planning and transplanting if necessary, but unfortunately what lacks is the will. We try and remind the people of their bonds with nature and hope to awaken them to the perils of deforestation. Even though it is usually the sisters who tie the thread, but today I am also tying the thread to trees to re-emphasize the bond” he added. Also tying the thread was Shubhendra Singh, a third year engineering student “First time in my life I’ve tied a thread to anyone, and that too, to such a majestic tree. It has made me so sentimental. I think every boy should do this once in their lives and take a vow to protect our green brothers”.
Participants of Miss Uttarakhand 2011 also participated in the festivities. Said Diksha Chatwal, a Doonite and a Miss Uttarakhand contestant “I felt so sad the day they cut trees near my house for road widening. I’ve been seeing them since childhood and they felt like family to me. Wish I had tied rakhee to them also before they were cut.”
Within minutes the majestic Sita-Ashok tree, under which everyone had gathered, had dozens of red threads wound around it and red vermillion applied to its branches. A swing hung by members of CFGD from one of it’s branches added to the spirit of the festivities and children and other members literally fought for their turn at it.
Continuing their attempts to sensitize the public, CFGD is also holding the Third Annual Dehra Dun Tree Festival on 13th Nov at MKP College. “Tree Festival is an occasion, quite similar to today, when we celebrate trees. We celebrate them by singing, dancing, painting and through drama. Its an open event, where everyone is free to participate” explains Anjali Bhatia.
Among those present were Sonia Pandey, Laksha Mehta, Ira Chauhan, Sunita Sangwan, Shruti Kaushik, Dr Nitin Pandey, Anish Lal, Daljinder Singh, Jharna Bhandari, Ajanta Singh, Siddhant and Vineeta Bhardwaj. Among the Miss Uttarakhand participants were Nidhi Kapoor, Shristi Shukla, Nikita Goyal, Pooja Kaul & Neha Manori.
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