| Students tie rakhis on a plant at the Budharaja forest in Sambalpur on Wednesday. Telegraph picture |
Sambalpur, Aug. 1: Women and students from various educational institutions in this town today tied rakhi to trees in the Budharaja forest here vowing to protect them.
The participants, most of whom were college students, gathered in the reserve forest this morning and took an oath after tying rakhis to the trees.
The Budharaja reserve forest, which spreads across 318.9 acres, is located in the heart of the city and has been a witness to a number of historic events. Hundreds of tourists visit the place every day to enjoy its scenic beauty. “The Budharaja Bana Sanrakshyana Samiti had taken the initiative to celebrate rakhi with the trees. This is not a festival. By tying rakhis to the trees, the local people wanted to convey the message to the society that the trees should be saved as they protect the environment,” said forest officer of Budharaja reserve forest Prithviraj Behera.
“Every year, women and students from various educational institutions gather here to tie rakhi to the trees and swear to protect them. The initiative has influenced the local youth to come forward to protect the trees. Now, people in other parts of the state have also started tying rakhis to trees,” he said.
President of Budharaja Bana Sanrakshyana Samiti Rushi Patra said: “The people here have been tying rakhi to the trees for the last nine years. This is an initiative to protect the forest. This has initiated the local people to come forward to take care of the trees. ”
Lipika Sahu, a college student, said: “We tie rakhi to the trees as we consider them also to be our brothers. As the trees protect us, it is also our responsibility to protect them.”
“Trees play an important role in maintaining a balanced environment. However, people cut the trees for their own interest. And the rampant deforestation is contributing to climate change and global warming. It is high time that the people realise that trees protect us,” said Baby Barnali Pattnaik, another student.