Bishnu Lama was in Tokha bazaar recently with the intention of spreading awareness about saving the forest. She planted a sapling in Bhutkhel chaur.
Accompanying Bishnu were other students from Tokha. The students had gathered there to plant saplings in the Indreni Community Forest area. Around 500 students were present and they planted a variety of 400 different saplings.
Photo Courtesy: Gokul Dorjee Tamang
School students plant trees on the anniversary of Indreni Community Forest in Tokha of Kathmandu district a few weeks ago. Direct participation of students helps in generating interest in conserving the forest area.
Another resident of Tokha, Anjali Maharjan planted a sapling of the Dhupi tree. Though she had studied about environment and forest conservation, this was the first time she had planted a sapling. “This is my first time planting seedlings with my friends and I’m proud of what we have done,” she said, “It feels good that we are putting into practice, what we have learnt in the classroom. It will be better if we can do this at least once a month.”
Indreni Community Forest had rallied the students for the plantation. Every year, it observes its annual celebration by planting saplings with locals and students. According to Babu Lal Dangol, Chairman of the community forest, the saplings planted by the students are easier to save. “If it’s us who plants the saplings then the students are not very interested in their welfare. But if they plant the saplings themselves, then they look after it and try their best to save it. They also visit their saplings. That’s why if the student participation increases in such matters then it is beneficial to the forest,” he shared his experience.
After the community forest leased the empty land of Bhutkhel in Tokha, they started planting in the area. New saplings are always planted during the annual celebration of the community forest. Last year’s participating students were seen happily sharing their experiences with the new ones. One of the previous students, Rohan Nakarmi had planted a Dhupi tree. “The tree that I planted is green now and I feel happy seeing its progress. That’s why I’m feeling much better this year seeing my plant grow. I come frequently to see how my tree is doing and it’s very satisfying to see it grow.”
However, not all plants survive. Many picnickers come to Bhutkhel chaur as do people for film shoots. The community forest should make laws to protect the plants, adviced Lasata Shrestha, who was busy planting a sapling of Blue Mimosa. “Sometimes even cows come here and cows can also eat these plants. There are many people here when there is a film shoot. Picnics are also frequently happening. If people are told not to go near the area where saplings are growing then only they will survive. People should be warned when they are buying tickets. They should be made to understand, otherwise what good comes out of just us planting trees?” she questioned.