Vikas and Manisha plant the sapling in Dhanbad on Monday. Picture by Gautam Dey
Marriage vows are going hand in hand with green pledges in Dhanbad.
Caviar, champagne, expensive gifts and all such luxuries associated with big fat Indian weddings are passé. Instead, the coal town’s newest couples are starting their married life by planting trees, thanks to Jharia-based environmentalist Manoj Singh.
Singh, who runs NGO Life, to champion the environmental cause, gifted mango saplings to two couples on Monday to spread the green message.
The practice started four years ago and till now, Singh has gifted saplings to more than 400 couples.
On Monday, the environmentalist visited NIIT faculty member Vikas Kumar Singh and wife Manisha and handed them a mango sapling as a wedding gift. The couple, who got married on May 11, was happy to receive the unique gift and planted the sapling in their courtyard with a vow to nurture the plant.
“Singh promised to give us a precious gift. The tree is indeed a valuable one. I was introduced to him about a couple of years ago through a social networking site. Gradually, I became an admirer of his works. He has taken up many plantation drives in places like Birsa Kusth Colony in Jharia and Durgapur Kusth Colony,” Vikas said.
The NIIT faculty member rued not being able to take part in the green drives. “But it is our responsibility to do our bit to save the depleting green cover,” he said, adding that Dhanbad needed special attention as the pollution level in the district was alarming.
Sumananand Jha (30), a physiotherapist at PMCH, and his better half Anubha (26) got the same gift from Singh. The couple tied the knot on May 4.
“Besides giving saplings to our friends, we also keep in touch with temple authorities and get a list of marriages being solemnised,” said Singh.
He added that they were planning to gift saplings to deputy mayor Niraj Singh and general secretary of Janta Mazdoor Sangh Sanjeev Singh, who got married recently.