BHUBANESWAR: The cyclone Fani has devastated Bhubaneswar in an unimaginable way with around 1 million trees damaged. The uprooted trunks and bare branches are testimony to the intensity of the storm that barrelled through the state.
To commemorate the day (May 3) and discuss the green-crisis that has ensued following the disaster, Bhubaneswar Poetry Club (BPC) organised a literary session No Canopy Without Trees Sunday where several participants including literarateurs read out pieces and poems which talked about earth, about the crisis and the interplay of environment with various aspects of human existence. The event was organised at GITB Press Colony which also has faced the wrath of Fani. One of the organising members said that this (GITB Press Colony) is a place where we will see ruins of the past and resolve for tomorrow.
Sanchita Dwivedi, a BPC member, said, “Canopy is our small endeavour to promote and take poetry to public places.” Canopy refers to the uppermost branches of the trees in a forest, forming a more or less continuous layer of foliage, she added. The idea behind such events has always been to hold poetry readings and discussions under the shade of trees. But in light of the devastating cyclone, Fani, we found it our moral responsibility to talk about how deep has been the impact in our lives with the loss of a substantial amount of green cover.
The works of authors and poets such as Wallace Stevens, CK Williams , Bri Edwards, Tooru Dutt, Maya Angelou, Rachale Carson, Chard Deniord, Peter Wohlleben and many others were read by more than 40 participants. Global Climate Rally, Bhubaneswar (GCS) also extended its solidarity to the event where the members talked about the impending climate crisis.
Sourav Panda, another member of Bhubaneswar Poetry Club, said that in the event they also hosted members of GCS who are conducting a rally to create awareness about the environmental crisis and before the rally they will conduct a few pre events too. “We are also helping them create awareness through another open mic which we will be conducting later this month,” he added.
He lamented saying, “Just imagine yourself in a world without the shade of trees; no more soothing breeze, no more dewy greens, no more tree-houses of romance or fortresses of solitude. No more chirps and no more sights. It is a very scary image and through this session at this place we tried to remember the damage caused by Fani.” Panda spoke his heart out and said, “In the session my favourite poem was of Wallace Stevens where he says, “After the leaves have fallen, we return Wallace to a plain sense of things. It is as if we had come to an end of the imagination, inanimate in an inert savoir.”
We also read other literary pieces like one by CK Williams – “Can beauty save us?” where he decodes the various artworks and the underlying concept of environment in the works and also complains about himself for not being able to write beauty in his poems when the Earth is dying, he added. Panda concluded saying that while the beauty can save us, the earth is ours to cherish and ours to protect.
Steps by Govt for creating Green Cover after Fani
The state government has chalked out a five-year action plan worth Rs 188 crore with a view to create a green barricade along the coast and promote green cover in cyclone-hit Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.
About 130.5 lakh trees will be planted in the current year – 2019-20
Of these, 80.5 lakh trees will be planted by the Forest department itself, while 50 lakh saplings will be distributed among various educational institutions, industrial estates and other private land holders for plantation in their respective areas
Currently, 104 lakh saplings are available with 12 Forest divisions