In a historic feat, Assam has etched its name in the Guinness World Records by securing nine certificates for its extraordinary tree plantation initiative, the “Amrit Brikshya Andolan”, and an additional one for the highest number of records created at a single platform. Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma received these accolades from Guinness World Records adjudicator Swapnil Dangarikar at a ceremony held at the Srimanta Sankardev Kalakhestra International auditorium in Guwahati on November 29.
The “Amrit Brikshya Andolan”, executed under the innovative Jan Bhagidaari or people’s partnership, model, marked a significant milestone with the planting 1,11,17,781 seedlings of commercially valuable tree species across the State on a single day, on September 17, 2023. The exercise was carried out on a Janbhagidari model, through active involvement of Self-Help Group members, ASHA workers, Anganwadi workers, educational institutions, police personnel, including VDP; tea garden workers, Government officials and citizens.
During the Amrit Brikshya Andolan, records were made in nine categories. In the “Longest Line of Potted Saplings” category, the feat was achieved at the Veterinary College Field, Khanapara, Guwahati by Kamrup East Forest Division when 22.22 km long line of 3,22,444 poly-potted saplings were arranged in a spiral form with lighting. It was a new category of Guinness World Record. The seedlings were of Agar and Mahogany species.
Then came the feat of the “Largest Number of Saplings Distributed at One Venue in 24 hours” when sapling arranged in the spiral form at Veterinary College Field, Khanapara, were distributed to Self Help Group members, public, paramilitary forces, educational institutions, etc. A total of 3,22,444 seedlings were distributed during the attempt which broke the earlier record of 76,825 saplings distribution made in the year 2018 at Prayagraj by the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department.
The record for “Most Trees Planted by a Team in 24 hours” was made when 9,21,730 saplings were successfully planted in 100 hectare degraded forest land in 24 hours at the Bhairabkunda Reserve Forests of Udalguri district. It eclipsed the previous record of 8,47,275 made by Pakistan in 2013 at Kharochan, Thatta district.
In the fourth category the “Most Trees Planted by a Team in One Hour”, a record was made when a total of 3,31,929 saplings were successfully planted in one hour by a team of 8,900 persons. The record for “Largest Potted Seedlings Mosaic”, was achieved in Tinsukia district by the Digboi Forest Division when potted saplings mosaic in 8,563.01 sq. m. was made depicting map of Assam and showing rhinoceros at the centre of mosaic. This is a new category in the Guinness World Record. The number of saplings used to make the mosaic stood at 6,32,000.
In the sixth category, the record was made at Geleki in Sivasagar district when 1,229 girl students planted 1,229 agar seedlings simultaneously in 58 seconds. In the seventh category, the record was made when a lesson on Environmental Conservation and Sustainability was imparted online by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Head of Forest Force, Assam on 11 September, 2023 which was viewed by 70,490 persons during the online lesson and more than 10 lakh people viewed it thereafter.
Another feat was achieved when 71,82,358 photographs (Unique Images with Unique Faces with Plant) were uploaded online in the Amrit Brikhya Andolan portal. The “Most Pledges Received for an Environmental Sustainability Campaign in one month (Online)” category, 47,28,898 pledges were taken.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the Andolan was launched to strengthen Assam’s economy through forests. He said that economy in sync with ecology is one of the priorities of the State Government.
The Chief Minister lauded the Jan-Bhagidari Model of the Andolan (The mission was coined as an ‘Andolan’ to create a mass movement of embracing a green economy.) He said that taking the entire movement online is a testament of a ‘New Assam’.
“The collective efforts of both citizens and Government functionaries have transformed the impossible into possible,” Dr. Sarma said in his speech.
The Chief Minister thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for being generous in helping Assam and its people in every possible way to aid the State script path-breaking records. Dr. Sarma announced that in the year 2024 and 2025, the State Government will attempt to plant three crore and five crore saplings respectively.