When selfies are all the rage, why not use them to promote a cause? Christened "Selfie With Tree", a competition was organised to encourage residents of Gurgaon to send in their selfies while planting a sapling. And Gurgaon responded as only it could, with a flood of clicks.
The inspiration came from the hugely successful "Selfie With Daughter" campaign initiated by the Haryana government. The district administration of Gurgaon, together with an NGO Niswarth Kadam, organised the event, which kickstarted on June 5 to commemorate the World Environment Day. So far, more than 400 entries have come in. Several RWAs, senior citizens, children and even those from corporate houses have sent pictures.
The competition was kickstarted by TL Satya Prakash, deputy commissioner of Gurgaon, and Pramod Raghav, CEO of US-based Expert Serve, who planted five banyan and peepal saplings each in Info City of Sector 33. The selfie or video judged best is set to be given a prize of Rs 11,000, the second one Rs 5,100, and the third Rs 1,100. Certificates, too, will be handed out by some of the most noted environmentalists in the country.
Elaborating on the idea behind the campaign, Satya Prakash said, “The aim was to make more and more people aware of global warming, and how planting saplings can go a long way in protecting our environment. Besides helping clean up the environment, trees such as peepal, banyan, neem and shisham are also said to have medicinal properties.”
Participant Pramod Kumar Gupta, an engineer with Ultratech Cement, told City Spidey, “My friend and I are pretty active when it comes to doing our bit for saving the green. We have sent our selfies as well, and if we somehow win, the prize money will be used to plant more saplings in our neighbourhood.”
The response has been overwhelming, says Arvind Saini, a spokesperson for Niswarth Kadam. “Such is the public response that we sometimes have participants sending in as many as five pictures with five different saplings," he said. "Though only one will be selected, it is good to see that people are responding so enthusiastically to the drive. Even people from Haryana, Delhi and Punjab are sending in their selfies.”
He added that as soon as 500 entries would be in, the process of choosing the winners would start. The selfie that bags the first prize will then be sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. The winners will also be awarded by their state government.
The event closes this evening, so if you haven’t already sent in your entry, do it now!