Madhubani: Green activists in Mithilanchal in Bihar have come up with a bright new idea of preventing deforestation. They've started painting the Madhubani painting, featuring gods and goddesses on tree trunks. Gods and goddesses adorn the canvas on tree trunks across the highway and this is a unique initiative, started by the locals to save the trees from being felled.
Shasthi Nath Jha, who started this campaign as part of his NGO activity, has managed to add colour to over 100 roadside trees. The tree trunks have been painted with a mix of natural and artificial paints to ensure the painting weathers the changing climate. Jha now hopes to add colour to 5,000 more trees and raise Bihar's forest cover from the country's lowest of 7 per cent.
This initiative is reaping green dividends. Locals, invoked by the fear of Krishna, Radha, Durga and Saraswati, now worship these trees. Girls, who have mastered the traditional Madhubani painting art, capture the various goddesses in different moods and along with scenes from the classics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
This unusual campaign, using coats of paint and brushes, to decorate the trees with pictures of gods and goddesses has had desired results so far. It has forced the deeply-religious locals to drop any idea of cutting down the trees out of fear of incurring the wrath of the deities. These innovative 'tree friends' have succeeded in saving the green cover in their region so far. Adding colour to these trees will go a long way in preserving the natural balance of the environment.