To celebrate the 80th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on July 5, 2015, the International Buddhist Confederation (IBC) organised a ‘Tree Plantation’ drive along the banks of the river Yamuna that runs along the city of Delhi. The effort saw the cleaning of the river banks and greening of the neighbourhood by planting traditional and fruit-bearing trees to attract birds and other species for a sustainable ecology and habitat.
The Chief Guest, the Chief Secretary of the Government of NCT, Delhi, Mr K K Sharma launched the ‘Tree Plantation’ drive. The main function was held at the Tibetan school at Majnu Ka Tila, in North Delhi. More than 2,000 Buddhist monks from different states of the country as well as from other countries participated in the programme and planted trees along the river banks and by the side of the nearby settlements.
Also, around 1,000 members of the Maurya and Shakyas communities planted saplings to mark the occasion. The programme included planting of 2,000 saplings of local varieties of fruit-bearing, flowering and medicinal trees. Around 1,500members of the Himalayan communities from border areas, stretching from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh, also participated in the Clean and Green programme.
Mr Sharma administered a pledge to all the participants at the event, committing them to plant more trees in their surroundings and to sustain them for a better and greener tomorrow. He also appealed to the community to keep their neighbourhood clean. He recalled the great teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, who preached that you were not just responsible for yourself but for the others’ actions too.
It would be a great service if you cleaned not just your homes but also the road next to it, he said. “Look after the riverbed next to your settlement. The river Yamuna is the lifeline of the city and the sister of the Holy river Ganga. As water is holy for us, please do not throw garbage into it,” he appealed.
He also urged the participants to act as harbinger of peace and brotherhood in society and be messengers of green and clean programme in their neighbourhood. He also appealed to the gathering to become “friends of tree” to sustain them. This programme was in tune with the “Swachh Bharat, Harit Bharat” campaign by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The programme was also a way of celebrating the 80th birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, one of the Patrons of IBC