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Retired govt. employees embark on green mission in a ‘giving back to society’ initiative

It’s a small step by us at a time denudation of trees and its debilitating climate change effect has become the order of the day.

Statesman News Service | Bhubaneswar |

In a ‘giving back to society’ initiative, a group of retired government employees have embarked on an individual social responsibility scheme while spending money from their own purse to provide green ambiance to rural landscapes.

Over a dozen of like-minded retired personnel from Bhubaneswar is on the move to villages adjoining Bhubaneswar with a focus on environmental issues mainly taking up plantations besides sensitizing the people on conservation of trees. The significant feature of their initiative lies in the fact that expenditure incurred for the purpose is met out from their post-retirement savings.

“Soon after my retirement in 2017, I thought it was my vanaprastha, and it was time to give back to society. I made up my mind to take up environmental issues as part of an Individual social responsibility mission. I chalked out my plan as to how to proceed to reach the goal. We consulted with the environmentalists and those in the meteorological department. Accordingly, we have taken up plantation as our primary work”, said Pradeep Kumar Rath, Former Deputy Chief Labour Commissioner of the Union Government.

It’s a small step by us at a time denudation of trees and its debilitating climate change effect has become the order of the day.

The initiative was launched single-handedly by me initially. Later I requested many of my retiree friends to start the journey. But the initial response was poor. I started moving alone, taking saplings from the nursery to involve students in the plantation after the awareness program. I used to post the incident on social media along with some photos of the event. Some like-minded friends appreciated it and they extended me helping hands. Later we formed Paribesh Suraksha Abhijan. Without taking any outside financial assistance, we have so far managed to meet our goal by contributing from our pension funds, he said.

We have covered several villages on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar while carrying out the plantation work. The need for the conservation of trees has gradually dawned upon the people living in the countryside. The women’s self-help groups have volunteered to assist us in our green mission,

The saplings are being provided free to people. Besides, they get logistics to rear the saplings. The endeavour has added to the growth of 15,000 as 30,000 people from seven districts have been covered under the awareness programme, he concluded.