Mangaluru, July 04, 2019: Forest personnel, team leaders and volunteers involved in all out efforts to supply 77,996 saplings to 124 churches in Kasargod and Dakshina Kannada, under the Mangalore Diocese within 20 days, were felicitated on July 3, Wednesday, by Bishop Rev Dr. Peter Paul Saldanha, Bishop planted a ‘Pride of India’ sapling to mark the first anniversary of his announcement as the Bishop of Mangalore diocese. ‘Vrakshavandan 2019’ programme was organised by the Diocese of Mangalore Laudato Si’ Committee at the Bishop’s house.
Mangaluru Bishop presided over the programme, congratulated all the forest officers, team leaders and volunteers for their active involvement in the campaign.
“Plants can sense everything. They have life and react to us as we come closer to them in love. The animals too – including wild animals – will not harm when we show them love,” he said, quoting the example of St Francis of Assisi, who is called the Saint of Nature.
Bishop felicitated Mangaluru Range Forest Officer (RFO) Shridhar, Udupi RFO Clifford Lobo, environmentalist Jeeth Milan, Selma Roche, Prajwal Suares, Dr Clarence Miranda, Stany Tauro, Raju Kidoor, Bannu Fernandes and James D Souza.
Udupi RFO Lobo appreciated the Bishop for his involvement in conservation of Nature and highlighted the benefits of teak wood and impact of the Vrakshvandan campaign.
Mangaluru RFO Shridhar explained how a planting of teak wood saplings can help a poor family after 15 years or more.
Luvi J Pinto, organiser of ‘Vrakshavandan 2019’, said the Mangalore Diocese had supplied a whopping 77,996 plants to the people of 124 parishes.
“These saplings were planted from June 30 onwards. The information on plants supplied and planted by the people is with the Diocese and in the parishes. In the next fortnight, excess plants will be collected by the organisers to be redistributed to those who need plants. This is to ensure that no plant is wasted,” he explained.
Msgr Maxim L Noronha the Vicar General of Mangalore diocese, Fr Richard D’Souza convener Laudato si’ committee, Padua College Principal Fr Alwyn Serrao were present at the programme.