Yuva Minicon

The first Yuva MiniCon was held on 25 th February in Bhubaneshwar and the event was an instant hit with more than 100 change-makers joining in to make it a dazzling blend of motivation, fun and enthusiasm. The energetic energy of the youngsters with their open minds was very inspiring.Yumi Bae, UNICEF, Odisha talked about how UNICEF considered itself fortunate to have this chance to interact with young change-makers. She also expressed her desire to work for children’s education and health issues. Vishal Dev, Commissioner cum secretary, W&CD Department, Odisha motivated the young gathering and expressed his desire to interact with them to make Bhubaneswar a more smart city and identify the main issues related with the youth.

16938963_10155199619614994_2431333639508633660_nTanaya Patnaik a fun filled youth icon with her exuberant talk on volunteering spread radiance and fun in the evening. Mitu swain another change maker of Kandigaon shared his experiences on how he with the help of his friends worked to stop open defecation in there village.Chitra Arumugam conducted a very interesting activity which brought out an individual perspective towards volunteering. The evening was ushered in with stories of school going change-makers by Yashveer Singh, Director, Youth Venture, Ashoka that were instant hits with the gathering and sources of inspiration. Last but not the least Dr Shruti Mohapatra shared her success story with all, which was a very interesting experience.

Sabita patnaik thanked her on behalf of Bakul by rendering a poem written for her. The evening ended on a happy note with soulful music by young volunteers and refreshments.

I am a poet and this is my story

By Anshuman Dash

I am a poet and this is my story

An essence of existence;
a silent observer of the night
A shadow that flickers in the dark,
fleetingly imitating life
Ephemeral in presence,
I write my story tonight,
before fading away, silently,
Into a world filled with light

I am a poet and this is my story

I am you, I am them,
and still, I am I
A memory, a thought;
Subconscious of form,
As dreamt by  your mind
I am right,I am wrong;
a dreamer, a lover;
melancholy and forlorn;
damaged and torn
I am hope;  a believer
I am this, I am that;
An ideal, an idol
a reflection of perception,
a by-product of creation
I am invisible.

I am a poet and this is my story

Words are my enemy,
they are my friend,
my strength, my weakness
they help me comprehend
They are my feelings,
they are my thoughts
insignificant, inconsequential
They are all I’ve got
They break me , they make me,
bring it together, bring it all down
They are my voice, my silence,
my strength, when no one’s around

I am a poet and this is my story

I write for sorrow, I write for pain
I write to express, I write to paint,
I write to listen, I write to explain
I write to live with no refrain
I write for you ,I write for me,
I write for the rocks, I write for the trees
I write for the sky, I write for the breeze
I write for this world,
because I want to be free.

I am a poet and this is my story

Santa Turns Green

IMG_4052 (Copy)  This Christmas, the Red and White Santa turned green as he joined hands with Dedi Loku (Tree Man in the Kui language), the green superhero to give tree gifts to people. Instead of the sledge pulled by reindeer, the Santa had a bullock cart which carried the saplings as well.

IMG_4155 (Copy)The Bullock Cart with Santa Claus and Dedi Loku moved from the Bakul Library in Satyanagar behind the Catholic Church to Janpath to shouts of “Gacha Neba Gacha, Santa Deuchi Gacha” by about 30 young college students, all volunteers of Bakul Foundation. The volunteers mobilized and motivated the curious onlookers to plant trees and take the saplings from them. About 300 medicinal plants and trees such as Bakul, Kanchan, Jamun and Amla.

IMG_4212 (Copy)This Tree for Free is an initiative under the My Tree Campaign of Bakul, which aims to create an emotional connect between individuals and trees by promoting individual ownership of trees. The main objective of the My Tree Campaign is to promote gifting and plantation of trees as a cultural practice where it becomes a part of the everyday lives of people.

The campaign, which started in 2009, has many components through which the idea of gifting trees is promoted. There is a campaign on social media in which hundreds of people have profile pictures with trees. Environmental Film Festivals and workshops have been organized in schools, colleges and apartments  to create awareness, and most importantly, to suggest how individually, each one of us can contribute to address the problem of climate change.IMG_4151 (Copy)

Tree for Free is an attempt to break the inertia that people have in planting trees. It comes from a realization that many want to plant trees but they keep procrastinating. Hence, this makes it easier by taking the saplings to the people. Many people in the city have not known the joy of planting a tree and seeing it grow. This initiative facilitates that and over 8500 saplings have been distributed so far to individuals, who have planted them. Many people have come back asking for more saplings after the excitement of seeing their tree grow.

IMG_4144 (Copy)The My Tree Campaign has received international recognition now, as it is being featured in an Exhibition from November 2014 to June 2015 in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, widely considered the Mecca for contemporary art and architecture. The curators of the exhibition interestingly identified the campaign as one of the very creative and impactful endeavours to address environmental challenges in urban areas in the world.

Photographs: Debi & Soumyajeet