ITANAGAR, July 6: To mark Van Mahotsav Week, a joint effort by NGOs resulted in a clean-up of the Yagamso River at Energy Park and a tree plantation drive at Government Secondary School, Chimpu.

The clean-up drive, organized by the Youth Mission for Clean River (YMCR) and the Abralow Memorial Multipurpose Society, received support from the Itanagar Smart City Development Corporation Limited. The initiative was further strengthened by collaboration with the All Aka Students’ Union (AASU), Poma Panchayat Youth Welfare Society (PPYWS), and No. 1 Yaariyaan. Intern students from Dehradun colleges, currently undergoing social internships with YMCR, also participated actively.

AASU general secretary Kamu Degio, leading a team from the Bichom district, highlighted the union's commitment to environmental causes. He commended YMCR’s leadership in river conservation efforts, having been inspired by their previous clean-up activities.

PPYWS convenor Techi Chokam emphasized the valuable learning experience his team gained from participating in YMCR's drives. He spoke about their efforts to conserve ecological diversity and protect rivers in the Poma Panchayat, which serves as Itanagar's drinking water source.

Chokam also addressed the growing problem of waste due to the area's popularity as an eco-tourism and picnic spot, appealing to visitors to minimize waste generation during recreational activities. The PPYWS provided a Tata mobile for loading the collected garbage and transporting it to the Hollongi dumping ground.

YMCR vice-chairman Keyom Doni expressed gratitude to all participating organizations and encouraged other communities to replicate these clean-up efforts. He also urged residents to practice waste segregation at home to minimize waste generation.

Following the clean-up, a tree plantation drive was held at Government Secondary School, Chimpu, where over 30 ornamental and fruit tree saplings were planted. This initiative, conducted in collaboration with the school authorities, saw enthusiastic participation from students and YMCR interns.

In Tezu, the 75th Vanmahotsav themed, ‘Ek Paudha Maa Ke Naam’ was also celebrated at Tezu in Lohit district by the office of the Divisional Forest officer.

Women and Child Development Minister Dasanglu Pul and Tezu-Sunpura MLA Dr Mohesh Chai, Lohit deputy commissioner Shashvat Saurbabh, SSP Tumme Amo, HoDs, panchayat leaders and students attended the event.

Dr Chai emphasized the importance of afforestation when global warming is at its peak. He said that the increase in the intensity of floods or any other calamity that we are confronting today has a direct link with climate change.

He said rampant felling of trees and unsustainable use of resources poses great threat to the climate.

Dr Chai appealed to all, especially students to take the message of afforestation and its importance to the masses.

He urged each one to plant at least one plant.

Highlighting the importance of Vanmahotsav, DFO Tobang Pertin spoke on the importance of tree plantation.

He said necessary arrangements have been made to ensure the proper growth and protection of the saplings that were planted today.

Pertin said that more plantation drives and awareness programs would be organised in the coming days.

In Pasighat, the Vanmahotsav was celebrated at Silluk village in East Siang district.

The event, marked by a plantation drive, was organised by the Yirang Welfare Society in association with the Swachh Silluk Abhiyan.

The drive symbolized the collective effort of the people to preserve the rich flora, in addition to beautifying the village, environment conservation, combating climate change and ensuring ecological balance.

The event was attended by Mebo ADC Sibo Pasing, range forest officer Domek Koyu, YWS president Dr Allok Yirang, SSA founding chairman Kepang Nong Borang, gaon buras and villagers.