Kohima: As part of the Entrepreneurs Associates (tEA) “Run to Reforest,” or R2 run – under its flagship programme namely “Trees for Wealth”, hundreds of people from Kohima, Nagaland, joined the race to support reforestation on Saturday.
The race which began at High School Junction via Secretariat concluded at IG stadium. According to the tEA, a footfall of over 500 enthusiastic participants, volunteers, and supporters, and runners from other states also joined the race.
The run was officially flagged off by Er Lanu Toy, a distinguished 97-year-old Naga elder and Technocrat at High School Junction at 6 am, with runners registering from 4.30 am onwards. The R2 run is a first of its kind with runners committing to support tree plantation and reforestation of our land.
The prize distribution ceremony was moderated by Neikule Doulo, the Executive Director of tEA. She emphasised how Nagas have been good keepers of the environment in the past and how scientific environmental practices such as pollarding in rural areas even reflect community knowledge and wisdom. Advocating that Nagas must learn from their heritage, she encouraged the students and participants to take learnings from the past into the future.
CEO of tEA, Neichute Doulo spoke on the significance of the R2 Run. He expressed “Over the years, I have realised that fruit trees can be a wonderful programme to not only develop sustainable livelihood and fight climate change but to also give confidence to our people.”
He further elaborated on the ultimate objective of the ‘Trees for wealth’ to plant one billion fruit trees and 2 billion non-fruit trees by 2050. Urging the participants to support the cause, he added that the tree plantation exercise does not just positively impact climate change but also will trigger a trillion rupees economy in the future, through the promotion of ancillary activities.
The TfW has so far planted 7 lakh fruit trees with the support of patrons, well-wishers and CSRs, the CEO informed while stating that TfW is a very definite illustration of what can be achieved through collective community participation.
Er. Lanu Toy spoke on the significance of propagating trees and how the R2 Run will serve as a source of great encouragement for everyone to do the same. He added that as the former Chief Electrical Engineer of Nagaland and in various other capacities, he always initiated tree plantations in all project areas to nurture the environment.
Dr. Dietho-o Yhoshu, General Physician and a former MLA also described the R2 Run as a ‘creative and imaginative community event’ and further addressed the need to nurture a green environment to improve the quality of life.
Mr. Neiketu Iralu, a Social Analyst, began his keynote address by applauding tEA for always nurturing innovation and deeply inspiring doable initiatives that are inclusive. He addressed the young and old to be united through this event and marked the R2 Run as the beginning of healing for our homeland. In his words, “We are a part of the Lung of Mankind. We should take care of that Lung.”
The ceremony continued with the prize distribution to the winners stemming from 4 different categories. Under the Professional category, Wede T Mero, Nokching Chang, and Shiangjiu T Khiamniugan finished in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd positions, respectively.
In the College category, Kelengoto Kulnu, Shosu Pohena, and Chunchanglungbou Newmai finished in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd positions, respectively. As for the School category, Kughaho Swu, Thejangulie Sote, and Thejanguzo Pfukha finished in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd positions, respectively.
Lastly, for the students below 12 years, Lutu, Thejasesi Soukhrie, and Pelevotuo Zumu finished in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd positions, respectively. Every participant of the R2 Run was awarded a certificate for their participation with the winners in all categories receiving cash prizes.
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The ceremony culminated with each of the elders planting an acorn in a hollow tree trunk as a symbolic act of unleashing a tree plantation in Nagaland. A thanksgiving prayer was pronounced by Rev H Moba Konyak, Pastor, Konyak Baptist Church, Kohima for the successful completion of this historic community event.
At present, tEA is working with nearly 27,000 farmers across Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh through various Agri-promotion livelihood initiatives and is confident that given the current trajectory, the targets will be achieved.
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