Bhubaneswar: Ekamra Walks, organisers of the only guided heritage trails in the city, have turned green crusaders, distributing eco-friendly pens among visitors.
The use-and-throw pens made of waste newspapers have seeds inside so that when a user throws them away, the pens will turn into trees as the seeds germinate.
After a brief break following the severe cyclonic storm Fani, over 40 participants joined the 124th Ekamra Walks Old Town circuit on Sunday. The visitors took a pledge to plant more trees as the cyclone has wiped out over 50 per cent trees from the city’s skyline.
Pancham P. Taank, an engineer with SMS Group, a world leader in steel engineering, joined the walk with his family. He said that after joining the Old Town walk and the Khandagiri and Udayagiri walk he brought his family to the Ekamra Walk so that they get to know about the city’s rich heritage.
“This idea to distribute eco-friendly pens to participants is a wonderful one and I hope we all also care for the city’s green heritage, as the Temple City was known for its green cover and trees, which was partially lost after Fani,” he said.
Pancham’s wife Sameekshya and twin sons Tanay and Tanmay, both in Class IV of Vikas School near Khandagiri, were delighted to take part in the walk and were happy receiving the eco-friendly pens.
Chief Manager of Bank of Baroda Mithilesh Kumar Singh, who has recently shifted from Jamshedpur to Bhubaneswar, came with his wife Abha and daughter Lavanya. They were happy to explore the heritage treasure and medicinal plant garden, Ekamra Van. “We are happy to get the eco-friendly pen and hope that all citizens will contribute towards reviving the city’s lost green cover,” Mithilesh said.
The eco-friendly pens with seeds inside was developed by a city-based start-up, LIKHAN, set up by two students of Centurion University. They are students of the School of Vocational Education and Training at the University.
Anju Taparia Kunte, an engineer with Siemens in Mumbai, and her chartered accountant husband Subash Kunte, were delighted to be part of the heritage walk. “My wife has travelled 35 countries and participated in almost all types of walks there. However, today’s experience was unique, as she was brought up in this city,” Subash said. Anju, a blogger plans to share her experience on her blog.
Virat Raj, from Ottawa, Canada, currently staying in Germany, said the walk was a “wonderful” experience. Originally from Jaipur in Rajasthan, he has dual citizenship and stays in Canada, but works in Germany for the world-wide organisation Save the Children. He is in the city for a post-Fani rehabilitation project.