The school education and literacy department will soon launch 'Vriksha Lagao Abhiyan' - a tree plantation drive across all government and private schools in the state. Chief minister Raghubar Das has directed all schools to organize an oath-taking ceremony for the plantation drive during morning assembly from June 20-30.
The month-long programme will begin July 1. As part of the initiative, schools have been directed to sow fruit and flowering plants on campus. Schools with boundary walls should also grow creepers, the order stated. Schools without boundary walls have been directed to set up bio fences using shrubs and hedges.
The department suggested planting mango, guava, jackfruit, banana, papaya, and litchi, among other fruit-yielding plants, as well as jasmine, marigold and other flowering plants. Schools can contact nearby nurseries to procure seeds. Since monsoon has arrived, growing plants should not be a problem. Schools have also been directed to install water harvesting system on the premises, said department secretary Aradhana Patnaik.
The project will be helmed by the environment minister of the school child cabinet, along with members of the eco club. To ensure the project is a success, a meeting with various stakeholders will be organized shortly.
A meeting with forest, rural development, drinking water and sanitation department officials, and NGOs will be held on July 1. A district-level meeting, which will be headed by the concerned deputy commissioner, is scheduled for July 3. The block-level meeting will be held on July 6, while a meeting at the school level will be held on July 7. On July 8, teachers will educate students about the benefits of planting trees and conserving them.
The programme will spread awareness about environment conservation, will encourage tree plantation and will also highlight the benefits of water conservation, said Patnaik.
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