As the ten-day Ganesh Chaturthi commenced on Tuesday, devotees across the country welcomed Lord Ganesha in their own unique way. Combining religion and social causes, volunteers of the Bakul Foundation decorated a tree in Lord Ganesha’s form.
The volunteers of the Bakul Foundation have been decorating trees as Ganpat on Ganesh Chaturthi for the last five years.

The decorations that were used by the volunteers comprised only eco-friendly materials such as painted coconut as a mouse of Ganesha, flowers and colourful papers were used to decorate the surrounding area.

Visuals showed the tree Ganpati in a pink dhoti and turban, rice was used to give shape to the eyes, and mustard seeds and dal were used to make the crown and body parts of Ganpati.
Sujit Mahapatra, Founder and Volunteer of Bakul Foundation told ANI, “It is ironic that trees are often considered obstacles in the path of progress. So, by worshipping a tree as Lord Ganesh, the Bighnaraj, the remover of all obstacles, we are trying to change that mindset. The problem with our society is we have lost a relationship with trees. That’s why we need to worship trees once again.”

Alok Kumar, a Bakul volunteer, added that Bakul has been promoting a cultural association with trees since 2009 realising that it is only when we have a personal relationship with trees and love and worship trees that people will value trees more would lead to more and more people planting, nurturing and protecting trees and forests.
Shruti Kanungo, another Bakul volunteer said, “This year we are seeing the impact of our sustained campaigns. DAV Chandrasekharpur, EuroKids Angul also celebrated Tree Ganesh Puja and shared pictures with us. KIDDZ Bloomingdales, another school has also celebrated Tree Ganesh Puja inspired by us. The biggest success, however, was celebrating Raksha Bandhan as MyTreeBandhan in which we gave a call to schools and children to tie rakhis to trees in their schools and also at home or in the neighbourhood. Hundreds of children from many schools such as Mother’s Public School, Khandagiri and other branches, DAV Chandrasekharpur and DAV Unit 8, Blossom’s, St. Xaviers Kedar Gouri and DM School participated and sent us their photos and videos. That gives us hope that the younger generation is indeed developing a relationship with trees.”
Balwant Singh, Vice-Chairman, BDA and other officers of BDA, Sujit Mahapatra, Founder of Bakul Foundation and other volunteers of Bakul, morning walkers and visitors participated in the Puja. In an attempt to involve children, we also had an Art Exhibition in the Park Library by children on Green Ganesha. (ANI)