Patna, April 21 (IANS) This is one marriage in Bihar that could not have gone more green.
The bride and the groom planted saplings of fruit trees, as did the rest of the wedding party. The marquee was heavily green-themed with leaves being liberally spread around. The dinner was served on plates made of green leaves and water provided in earthen mugs.
And, “an hour before the marriage was solemnised, a special discussion took place on how to save the environment and increase the green cover, a rare thing at a marriage function”, green activist Sujit Bhagat said of the event on Wednesday night at Ramchanderpur Dashhara village under Mohanpur block near Patori in Samastipur district.
All this to spread awareness about the need to protect the environment.
The bride, Soni Kumari, and the groom, Dilip Kumar, planted the fruit tree saplings after their marriage was solemnized, as did all the guests of the bride’s family.
“My family gifted saplings to each member of the marriage party,” said Krishna Kumar Rai, the bride’s father and a school teacher, who was encouraged by Bhagat to go for a green marriage.
“The bride’s parents offered the saplings to their daughter in a ritual just before she left for the ceremony to spread the message to increase the green cover in her sasural (in-laws’ house) also,” Bhagat said.
“We served dinner (bhoj) in plates made of green leaves and used earthen mugs for drinking water to promote environment-friendly practices,” Rai said.
The green wedding couldn’t have come sooner.
Last month, ignoring numerous appeals and warnings against pruning or cutting down green trees to collect firewood for bonfires on Holi eve, hundreds of trees in Bihar were badly damaged by the people, particularly youths, in the name of an age-old tradition.
Hundreds of trees became soft targets for the Holi bonfires that symbolise the destruction of evil.
Forest officials say Bihar lost most of its green cover when Jharkhand was carved out of it in 2000. Undivided Bihar had 17 percent forest cover that is now down to 10 percent. Some years ago, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar launched a green drive to increase the forest cover to 35 percent.
(Imran Khan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org