Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar launched the School Nursery Yojana in Talkatora stadium, New Delhi. “There cannot be a better combination than a child and a tree,” said Javadekar as he received a rousing welcome from the thousands of assembled school students.
Under the tree plantation scheme, the government has proposed that every school will designate an area where their students can sow seeds and look after it till it turns into a sapling. “Today we are starting this project in 1000 schools, the next year we will expand it to 5000 schools, and then to 10,000,” said Javadekar.
Emphasising the need to value trees, the Minister asked students to cherish it as any other “material asset”. As per the plan, students will sow the seed in August and by the time of results (March) will be able to take the sapling home. “Along with the flying marks, you can take your sapling home and tell your parents, this is also my result and marksheet,” Javadekar told students.
Talking about combining the Prime Minister Narendra Modi ambitious Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and School Nursery, the minister said the ambition is not only for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan but for a ‘Swachh and Green India’. “Every child will learn about nature through their experiences,” said the union minister. “For every breath of clean air one takes, it is one’s moral responsibility to plant two to three trees.”
Advocating the theme ‘Green India, Clean India’, Javadekar urged students to participate and their bit for the country. “This is our way of combating climate change,” said Javadekar.
More than sixty participating schools received saplings of their choice from a wide range of species including medicinal plants on the occasion. Some of the species of saplings distributed to the students included – neem, jamun, amaltas, kachnar, bahera, amla and bigonia. There were also herbal plants like – tulsi, lemon grass, giloi, ashwagandha, haldi and ilaichi.
Around 5,000 saplings were distributed to school students and some nearby residents. The plants were made available for public distribution by the Forest Department of Government of NCT Delhi and Delhi Parks and Garden Society.