Most saplings planted in one day-world record
set by Assam villagers
CHAUPAKHI, (Assam), India
-- Around 300 people including government officials, NGO workers
and residents of Chautaki Village in Assam's Bongaigaon district
planted 284,000 saplings, setting the world record for the
Most saplings planted in one day.
Villagers could be seen toiling away, as they planted saplings
of various plants like guava, teak, neem, in an area spread
over 31.5 hectares of land.
The attempt was started on the afternoon of July
11 and continued till next day, during which a record 284,
000 saplings were planted by the villagers.
The plantation drive was carried out under ENREGA
project (Govt Project) at a cost of rupees 3.4 million The
Grand project was made successful with the help of Government
officials, NGOs and Villagers.
An independent observer from World Wildlife Fund
(WWF) was called into oversee the entire activity.
"I have been invited as an independent observer
to this whole world attempt of Book Of World Record of plantation
of around 300, 000 saplings within 24 hours in this Chautaki
area. And I'm very happy to see that the whole exercise was
done meticulously according to the guidelines set by the World
Heritage Committee," said Surajeet Baruah, observer and official
Villagers also wanted to preserve environment
by planting saplings.
Most of the trees are fruit-bearing and the villagers
are meant to benefit from the plantation.
Jihosuo Biswas of Primate Research Centre, who
is also observer in the drive, said the tree species selected
for the plantation is a judicious mix of both fruit and timber
varieties and would come as an immense help to the villagers
who made it possible.
It has cost the government a little more than thirty
lakh rupees under a rural employment scheme. In a state where
only twenty per cent of forest cover remains, more and more
villages could follow such afforestation programmes.
The man behind motivating the Chaupakhi villagers
for plantation drive was M.S. Manivannam, sub-divisional officer
(civil) of North Salmara, who incidentally is from Tamil Nadu.
Manivannan a young IAS officer in his first posting
in Assam's Bongaigaon district was inspired by the story of
how a natural wall of 80,000 trees saved Naluvebapatty the
only village in Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu to survive the
tsunami of 2004.
He told reporters: "Basically our purpose was also
aimed at to involve the villagers in both eco-conservation
and income generation activities. As we found a vast empty
plot of land, we thought why not try out for tree plantation
which has both eco-conservation and economic values. Moreover,
the villagers can also get engaged under the National Rural
Employment Guarantee Act."
The previous world record for planting saplings
was from Tamil Nadu's Nagapattinam district, when 254, 000
saplings were planted in a day.
Thursday, July 17, 2008