Ballari Boys Scouts Hold Vana Mahotsava
BALLARI, JULY 05 (Fr. John Peter):

Boys Scouts of St. Joseph’s Boys School, Ballari, celebrated “Vana Mahotsva” (Forest Festival), launched by Bishop Henry D’Souza, Bishop of Bellary on June 5 in Cowl Bazaar, Ballari.

The programme is part of the diocesan programme to plant 2,000 saplings in church and school premises. It is aimed at promoting greenery and creating awareness among students and youth on the need of increasing green cover to the mother earth.

Bishop Henry D’Souza, who is also the President of Bellary Diocesan Education Society, urge teachers and students to protect the earth, which is our mother. “When we protect the mother earth from degradation and destruction, it will in turn will protect us”, added Bishop.

Bishop D’Souza urged to continue to work together to address the issues relating to ecological crises that threaten our contemporary environment and said, “If we truly love God, we will love his creation – mother earth; we would respect and protect nature and keep the environment pollution free”

He also encouraged everyone to plant trees and care for them till they grow, in all places, definitely in the lands belonging to families, schools and other institutions.”

Bishop Henry D’Souza urged teachers to encourage their class students to plant at least five plants and ensure they are protected and watered. It would be good to monitor the growth plants and take photographs every year, until they bear fruit.”

Bishop also insisted on the fact that no computers or machines produce food; it is only greenery that produces food for the world.” He encouraged teachers and students not to give up farming, which can be an additional hobby.

Bishop recalled the concern expressed by Pope Francis in his Encyclical – Laudato Si, “The World is Our Common Home” (2015). The Pope also states that environmental protection is a moral obligation. If we don’t protect and care for our environment it is a sin. As humans we are stewards of God's earth and share a responsibility to help each other.

The Diocese of Bellary has taken initiative in the background of the Papal document to address the environmental challenges.

The first Vana Mahotsva began in July 1947 in Delhi, in which the first President and Prime Minister of India Dr Rajendra Prasad and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and many prominent leaders participated

The teachers, staff and Scouts of St. Joseph’s Boys School in their turn planted 100 saplings in their school campus and their homes.

Bishop congratulated the Boys Scouts, Secretary BDBE Fr. John Peter, Assistant Manager Fr. Sunil Anselm, headmistresses, school teachers and collaborators. END.

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