Trees and forests play a very crucial role in maintaining an ecological balance and providing oxygen to human beings on the planet. Van Mahotsav is thus, both warning and an urge to mankind to protect forests, plant trees and avoid the future from turning into deserts. If enough trees are planted in towns and cities, definitely it can help in reducing the overall temperature.
Planting trees is recognized as one of the most engaging, environment friendly activities. In an endeavor towards maintaining the green campus as well as to spread awareness of planting more and more trees and protecting the environment, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur has celebrated Van Mahotsav on July 07, 2021.
To commemorate the occasion, the Director, the Deputy Director, the Dean Outreach, the Associate Dean Outreach and the Associate Dean of Alumni Affairs and Branding of IIT Kharagpur along with other staffs and faculty members have planted the saplings of Bakul Tree (Mimusops elengi) – for the fact that it is an evergreen and a medicinal plant as well as it provides the dense shade, at the campus and the pledge has been taken to take care of the saplings planted throughout the year.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof Virendra Kumar Tewari, the Director of IIT Kharagpur, said, “It is our social responsibility towards our Mother Nature to improve the health of the environment. IIT Kharagpur has a lush green campus with the initiatives of all round management and development of the campus in an eco-friendly manner. People love the greenery and the atmosphere here. Every year, IIT Kharagpur community plants saplings at various designated spots within the campus, as their regular activity”.
Institutions need to ‘GO GREEN’ not only to spread awareness about the virtues of trees and greenery but also to maintain ecological balance and thrive for sustainable development. Since its foundation in 1951, IIT Kharagpur has embarked on a journey to protect the environment and spread the awareness of conserving forest through various activities. Further, since 5th June, 2021 (World Environment Day), more than 300 saplings have been planted at the campus. The campus is full of greenery including age-old trees, plants and medicinal herbs.
During a short detour around the campus, one could enlighten the mind and soothe the eyes with a stunning visual of wider varieties of trees, including Simul, Sirish, Gulmohar/ Krishnachura, Radhachura, Palash, Eucalyptus, Banyan, Jarul, Bakul, Mahogany, Mahua, Akashmoni, Amaltus, Arjun, Ashoka, Aswatha, Jarul, Kanak Champa, Banyan, Pipal, Chatim, Sal, Segun, Sajna, Rubber plant, Debdaru, and Fruit trees- Mango, Lichi, Neem, Jamun, Bael, Cashew and many more. You can get to see some rare varieties of trees in the campus, such as Nagchampa or the Cannoball tree, Jagya dumur, Bhojpatra or Bertula uitilis, Haritaki, Madras Thorn/Manila Tamarind, Karanj, Putranjiva, Bahera, Tejpata, Sisso, etc. Our campus also has some unusual trees, such as Gamhar or white teak and Sausage trees. Rudrakhsh trees and Allspice trees are two unusual trees are there at the Director’s Bunglow.
While delivering an aspiring speech, Prof Amit Patra, the Deputy Director of IIT Kharagpur mentioned the famous quote of Rabindranath Tagore, “DAO PHIRE SE ARANYA, LAO E NAGAR which means give us back the sylvan past and take away today’s cities”.
We believe that it is highly essential to increase the greenery and landscaping for all the residents in the campus and beyond, because trees greatly benefit the people living around them by having a positive impact on mental health, wellbeing, reducing stress and encouraging outdoor exercise. Human lives exist in complete synonymity with the nature and trees could be the guide and friend that we could look for, while going towards a ‘better tomorrow’.
To create links between a healthy environment and healthy livelihoods, IIT campus dwellers have opted for organic farming and planting trees in free spaces to adhere to the outcry of growing green. Our students and staff contribute immensely to increasing the green cover. The departments have also been planting trees in the hall of residence. The staff and student are highly passionate about taking care of the campus greenery.
Contact: Paramita Dey, Junior Assistant
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