Giving a bit more than we take: Vanmahotsav 2018

Giving a bit more than we take: Vanmahotsav 2018

Afif Janjirkar | Sep 24, 2018

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Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.

Khalil Gibran

On 9th September 2018, as most of the campus slumbered peacefully enjoying the privilege of a sunny Sunday morning that comes after a tiring week, M.S.Swaminathan Hall of Residence organized a plantation drive which would see the plant strength of the hostel increase by a hundred.

The Rationale

The program themed “Turning MSS Hall Greener” was the brainchild of the MSS Warden, Prof. Manish Okade. The program was conducted with the aim of planting a hundred saplings of plants of various varieties which included Crotons, Confiners, Embryophytes, flowering varieties as well as fruit trees of the hybrid genus. The program was the first of its kind in the hall atmosphere as opposed to the numerous plantation drives that have taken place outside the hostels, on campus pathways etc. When asked what prompted the idea, Prof. Manish Okade said:

There are already a lot of trees in MSS, but they are huge and can sometimes creep into the rooms through windows and hence have to be trimmed. So I thought why not start a plantation drive (planting small saplings) which would result in fresher air entering the student's rooms as well beautifying the garden area. The plant saplings planted also serve another purpose as the small leaves would provide an ideal hanging area for lights and other decorations which would only serve to make the various hall events more appealing.

Turning MSS Greener

The preparations started with the workers starting to dig a hundred pits 2-3 days before the event was scheduled, with the positioning of the pits being pre-planned strategically keeping in mind the look of the garden. The saplings arrived on the night of the 8th and were kept next to the pit they were to be planted in. The plants were bought from a nursery near Ambagan, beside the Ispat General hospital. There were 2 Christmas trees with each costing Rs 150, the number of flower plants was approximately 40 and the other trees cost in the range of 60 to 80 Rs.

Various dignitaries such as Director Prof. Animesh Biswas, Chief Warden Prof. S.K.Pratihar, Deans Prof. B.C.Ray, Prof. K.K.Mahapatra, Associate Dean Prof. Dipti Patra, HODs Prof. T.K.Dan, Prof. Rupam Dinda, Prof. C.K.Biswas, Wardens Prof. H.B.Sahu, and Prof. Harmohan Jena and staff members from the offices of the Director and Registrar graced the ceremony. The General Secretary of the hall Prashant Nayak welcomed the Director with a bouquet while the other members of the HEC presented the other luminaries in attendance with flowers.

The program commenced at 9:30 AM with the Director planting a Christmas tree and a croton variety. All the dignitaries along with around 75-80 resident students were seen planting the saplings enthusiastically. The guests planted the saplings in the area near the fountain (in front of the hall) whereas the students took to the internal area in front of blocks A, B and C, and the left side of the D block (near Dosa Plaza).

Next, the hall volleyball and table tennis teams were awarded mementos by Prof. Animesh Biswas for their commendable performance in their respective Inter-Hall tournaments. Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Animesh Biswas reiterated the importance of the environment and how such small initiatives go a long way in bringing about a sustainable change and making our environment a better place.

What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.

Chris Maser

The program finally concluded at 11:30 AM with light snacks arranged in the common room which the guests and students alike relished. When asked about what he thought of the initiative, the general secretary of MSS, Prashant Nayak commented:

It was a very good step taken by the Warden, Assistant Warden, and HEC members to make our hostel greener. Our motive was to not only plant trees, but also to involve the students so as to inculcate the feeling of responsibility towards nature, as what normally happens is that the gardener does all the planting. In our busy class schedule, we don’t get time to look after our surroundings carefully, so this small program was a great way to involve the students. I am very happy that we get strong support from our Warden and Assistant Warden in organizing such activities.

To this and many more

We called this ‘Vanmohatsav 2018’ and we plan on making it an annual event with new varieties of saplings every year. Obviously, we can not plant a hundred trees again next year as the space available is finite, but we will tweak the number of saplings and will hopefully conduct this event every year.

-Prof. Manish Okade, on the future of the event

The program proved to be a massive success, with everyone involved enjoying it along with contributing to making the environment a bit better. Team Monday Morning congratulates the HEC, Warden and Assistant Warden of M.S.Swaminathan for organizing the first eco-friendly program of its kind and wishes them success in their future such endeavors.

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