Shop owners of a market in Madhya Pradesh's Bhopal continued a 26-year-old ritual of environmental conservation by celebrating the "birthday" of a neem tree. This year, however, the affair was muted due to the pandemic and the need for social distancing.
The neem tree's birthday celebration at Piplani's Adarsh Market in BHEL area is usually attended by hundreds of children and local officials, every year.
"I have been taking part in this event continuously for the past 16 years as I strongly believe in conserving our environment for future generations," NDTV quoted MP Industry Principal Secretary Sanjay Shukla as telling PTI. Shukla on Sunday, June 21, cut a birthday cake along with other shopkeepers.
Also present at the event were Bhopal Range Inspector General of Police Upendra Jain and Bhopal civic chief VS Choudhary Kolsani.
Adarsh Market's Rambabu Sharma is the man behind the initiative, who says that the aim was to give back to nature. As people use wood through all stages of their lives, he chose a tree as a symbol.
"Normally, a person uses wood all his life, from birth to building a house to deploying it for late rites. However, he does not give anything in return. With this thought in mind, I floated the idea of planting a neem tree 26 years ago on June 21. And since then we have been celebrating its birthday," he said.