Over 25,000 saplings of the fragrant champa flower were planted in Bihar’s East Champaran district today on the occasion of World Environment Day. There are plans to spread out to neighbouring West Champaran district as well as both the districts derive their names from the off-white mildly scented flower, said the organisers.
“We will work to develop a champa city which would attract visitors from across the world”, said Sunil Kumar, a jackpot winner of the popular quiz show ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’, who presided over today’s programme.
The district administration and the municipal corporation have also associated themselves with the drive.
We had launched the drive for planting Champa saplings on April 22, when environment activist Medha Patkar d visited our district. Till yesterday, 10,000 saplings had been planted in East Champaran. Today, we added another 25,000 by getting people from Motihari town and also remote villages to volunteer for the cause, Kumar said.
He said out of the 25,000 saplings planted today, 21,000 were supplied by London-based entrepreneur Rakesh Pandey who hails from the district.
District Magistrate Raman Kumar said champa trees would be planted along both sides of the national highway in the district and other vantage points. Nagar Parishad chairperson Anju Devi said residents of all the 38 wards of the town are being supplied with champa saplings and and encouraged to plant them in their houses.
Motihari-based journalist Sanjay Thakur said in ancient scriptures Champaran was called Champa Aranya which means a forest with a dense cover of Champa trees. Its flower is also said to have many medicinal properties.