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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 17:

The event ‘Free the Tree’, was a crowd puller this Independence day and people who promised to plant and take care of the trees in future were given free saplings by Bakul Foundation of Bhubaneswar. Celebrating 70 years of Independence, 40-odd enthusiastic volunteers of Bakul Foundation, laden with different varieties of saplings, rode the streets of the smart city on a bullock cart adorned with the tricolour distributing free saplings, which made its way from Satyanagar to Janpath in the Odisha capital.

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Ollywood actor Anu Choudhury flagged off the event at Bakul library in the city. Excited onlookers were gifted a free sapling. About 400 saplings of different varieties such as Radhachuda, Patchouli, Saguwan, Gambhari, Maha Neem, Polanga, etc. were given away. “We are spreading the message on the importance of planting trees,” said Sujit Mahapatra, one of the founders of Bakul.

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Dimple Patnaik, a Bakul volunteer said, “It has been established that if one needs to compensate for the trees lost in the last decade, each individual on the planet must plant and nurture two trees every year for the next 10 years”. The volunteers used this opportunity to bring awareness among citizens and motivate people to adopt the cultural practice of gifting plants on social occasions such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, festivals, etc. so that it becomes a part of the everyday lives of people.