A student speaks at the extempore in Jamshedpur on Thursday. (Bhola Prasad)
Call it a fruitful birthday bash.
One tree, one life a campaign running for years now was taken to a next level by students of Bokaro and Chas on World Forestry Day on Thursday. They pledged to plant saplings of at least 10 fruit-bearing trees to celebrate the birth of every child in their respective localities.
Students took the pledge at an event hosted by Bokaro district forest division. Not only did they promise to plant saplings of mango, jackfruit and mahua, they said they would nurture them too.
They also took part in an elocution on protecting forests. Mithila Academy student Aishwarya Shrotiya, school mate Ankita Rani and Vikas Kumar of Guru Govind Singh School were adjudged the top three speakers.
Senior forest officer (Bokaro zone) N.K. Singh, who was the chief guest, stressed on the importance of conservation during his inaugural speech.
If Bokaro students championed the green cause, youngsters of another steel city, Jamshedpur, also chanted a similar mantra.
On a mission to instil a sense of conservation and raising awareness of afforestation among students, Tata Steel Zoological Park joined hands with the forest department to organise an extempore at the Nature Information Centre on zoo premises from Thursday to observe World Forestry Day and World Water Day.
About 60 students of Classes VI to X across city schools participated on the first day of the competition.
While the importance of forest and the ecosystem is the focus on March 21 across the globe, March 22 is observed as World Water Day. Hence, the programme at the zoo will continue on Friday as well.
The students got two minutes to prepare on a topic. After that the participants had to articulate their opinion for the next three minutes, said Seema Rani, biologist and education officer at Tata zoo.
She added that the winners would be chosen on the basis of fluency, contents of their speech, clarity of thought and knowledge.
The prize distribution ceremony will be held on Friday, the second day of the event. K.K. Chatterjee, Singhbhum regional chief conservator of forests, will grace the occasion as the chief guest.