|Satish Chandra Rai and Pikaso Art Centre members tie rakhis on a tree in Dhanbad on Sunday. (Gautam Dey) Praduman Choubey
A unique vow to protect the protector.
More than 50 fine arts students, including 20 physically challenged, assembled outside the bungalow of district forest officer (DFO) Satish Kumar Rai in Dhanbad to celebrate a unique Raksha Bandhan on Sunday, two days ahead of the festival.
The threads were not meant for Rai but for trees.
Taking the green crusade a step ahead, the fine arts students, led by artist Subhendu Biswas, who is affected by polio, tied giant rakhis on trunks of trees outside the DFO’s bungalow and vowed to protect them at any cost.
Students of Pikaso Art Centre, carrying all the puja items like vermillion and diyas, chanted hymns and offered aarti to 14 trees outside the DFO’s bungalow.
Then they tied the special rakhis that bore slogans like Save Trees, ped mat katiye, and the like. Rai, who was also present as the chief guest on the occasion, also took the pledge to protect trees.
“The special Raksha Bandhan was organised for the first time by students of our centre in order to spread the message of environment protection, as the issue needs special attention in Dhanbad,” Biswas, who provides free training to special children at his Pikaso Art Centre in Chiragora, Dhanbad, said.
Asked when this idea came to him, Biswas said: “I contacted Rai to organise this special Rakhi celebrations around two months ago. And he readily agreed.”
He added that without Rai’s help they would not have been able to pull off this unique celebration.
Later, DFO Rai handed over mementoes and certificates to three students — Aastha Kumari, Ayushi Banejree and Tisha Nag — who had participated along with 47 others at a special rakhi-making competition organised on the premises of Pikaso Art Centre on August 11.
The students, too, were happy to be a part of such a celebration.
“Like our brothers, the trees also give protection to us. Hence, if we tie rakhis on our brothers, then why not on the trees? Trees play an important role in maintaining a balanced environment,” said 23-year-old Anamika Tiwari, who is a fourth-year fine arts student at Pikaso Art Centre.
Echoing similar sentiments, her classmate at the art centre 17-year-old Suraj Kumar said: “We cannot stop industrialisation, but we can do our bit by planting more trees. Today’s celebration was organised to give society the message of environment protection.”