Tuesday, July 18, 2017

NGO plants saplings at border, reaches out across to Pak

Jul 18 2017: The Times of India (Chandigarh)

Aiming to improve the micro-climatic conditions and ecosystem on the India-Pakistan border, a Fazilka-based NGO is making efforts to involve like-minded people from across the border to engage in environmental diplomacy. The NGO Graduate Welfare Association of Fazilka (GWAF) is in touch with some outfits and individuals from Pakistan through Facebook and is planning to organize planting of saplings on the border.

The idea is also to create conducive atmosphere by planting trees for security personnel from both countries working in hot and humid conditions, sometimes above 45 degrees Celsius. After the routine `Beating the Retreat' ceremony held in Fazilka sector, GWA planted a sapling with the help of Border Security Force (BSF) at the zero line from where Pakistan is clearly visible, hoping the message would go a long way in preserving the eco system.

"Under prevailing circumstances, people-to-people contact to carry out such environmental activities is not permitted but we are in touch with certain groups in Pakpattan, Haveli Lakha and Depalpur towns of Pakistan Punjab, which are near to Sadqi border in Fazilka through Facebook.We ask each other to plant saplings and want to create a congenial atmosphere. We plan to plant 1,000 saplings on our side of the border and hope of the similar effort from our associates in Pakistan," said GWAF secretary Navdeep Asija.

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