Kathmandu, September 11
Ncell, country’s leading mobile service provider, has taken an initiative to support reforestation and also implemented environmental awareness program in Dhanusha, aiming to contribute in awareness and conservation of environment.
Under the initiative implemented as a part of its corporate social responsibility, Ncell has planted 50,000 trees in 33 hectares barren areas of Dhanushadhan Protected Forest (DPF) to develop it as an area of environmental and ecological importance. In order to make sure local communities cohabit and contribute in conservation, the company also implemented awareness programs involving schools, teachers, parents and community people of the surrounding area.
DPF was declared as a protected forest for its biological and historical importance in 2013. However, haphazard firewood and mud collection, tree bark piling, illegal logging, and overgrazing, among others, had been posing threats to the protected forest, requiring awareness towards environment conservation also providing a sustainable livelihood options among community people.
“Reforestation and awareness programs by Ncell has been a good example to encourage us all in contributing to conservation,” said Dev Narayan Mandal, chairman of the Mithila Wildlife Trust (MWT), with which Ncell partnered to implement awareness program.
During the past one year, MWT has been organizing various activities such as formation of eco-club, debate competition, painting competition, Mithila cultural program, Mithila painting training and Mithila painting on school walls.
Competitions and cultural programs were held fundamentally to raise awareness on environment conservation and protection of DPF. Mithila paining trainings, on the other hand, aimed at imparting the skills to the community people so that they could productively utilize the skills for income generation. Ncell has also supported in developing the physical infrastructure required for three picnic spots in Dhanushadham.
Dhanushadham is a place where tens of thousands cultural and religious tourists visit every year. Proper utilization of these infrastructure can create income opportunities for local communities. Likewise, 15 days trainings on Mithila Arts, which holds history of 1,000 years, were imparted to students securing top positions in painting competition, women from Musahar Community that resides next to the DPF and members of poor families of Danushadham Municipality to encourage them to be involved in income generating activities by painting Mithila Art and selling them in market.
“Ncell’s support has not only been in reforestation but also on creating opportunities for the locals for sustainable income, thereby enabling the people to contribute in conservation of the forest. This has created an alternative option for employment,” said Mandal.
Few months ago, DPF has also been declared as ‘Illicit Felling and Open Grazing Free Zone’ for the conservation and development of the forest. “Plantation with barbed wire fence in the forest by Ncell has played a great role in this achievement”, he added.
Moreover, in order to carry forward the awareness and conservation campaign, four Eco-clubs have been established in schools. As per Manal, the clubs have been very active to sensitize importance of tree, forest and wildlife in the nature and entire ecosystem.
“Contributing to the cause of environment has always been our priority. We are glad our initiative has contributed in raising awareness among the people and supporting them,” said Milan Sharma, corporate communications expert of Ncell.
He elaborated that the company, as a part of environmental responsibility, has also been adopting green technology. As of now, 6.10% of Ncell sites operates solely on solar, while additional 7.76% have solar back up sites with hybrid solutions.