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Delhi’s Bangla Sahib Gurudwara distributes 20,000 free saplings to mark New Year

To make people aware of the environment, the Hemkunt Foundation distributed free saplings to devotees in Gurudwara Bangla Sahib on Sunday

Making New Year celebrations special for the devotees at the Capital’s Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, the Hemkunt Foundation distributed 20,000 free saplings on Sunday.

This is the fourth year the Foundation is holding such an event. Started in 2018, the sapling distribution could not be held last year due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Talking to India Narrative about the genesis of this programme, Irinder Ahluwalia, the CEO and Founder of the Foundation said: “Earlier we were distributing food during New Year celebrations but realised that there was a lot of wastage. So, instead of that we hit upon this idea of giving saplings to the devotees visiting the Gurdwara. While the importance of the food just remains for five to six hours, the sapling when it grows, remains with person for years. Besides it also creates an awareness about the environment.”

This year the target of the Foundation for the tree plantation drive is two lakhs and many more events to distribute the saplings will be held.

Stressing on the importance of the green cover, Ahluwalia told India Narrative: “The issue of pollution has been a concern for the authorities and the people alike and planting trees is one of the best possible solutions for this grave problem. We have found people eagerly accepting and planting the saplings and their response has always been very encouraging.”

Interestingly 50 per cent of the saplings distributed were that of herb plants. Among the 11 varieties distributed were kadi patta, ajwain, pathar chur, gilou, laltena, parijat  jalbahar and others.

Working actively for several social causes, the Foundation drew spotlight during the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, when they distributed free oxygen cylinders.