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Love of trees gives recognition to Manipur girl
Sobhapati samom

Valentina Elangbam who has been named brand ambassador of the Chief Minister’s Green Manipur Mission.
 IMPHAL, Aug 9 - A nine-year-old girl of Manipur, who cried inconsolably when two trees she had planted were cut down for development works, has been named as the brand ambassador for the Chief Minister’s Green Manipur Mission.

 Her appointment came last evening after a video of her weeping desperately went viral on the social media. The video was shot and uploaded by her uncle.

Valentina Elangbam, the eldest daughter of Premkumar and Saya of Hiyanglam Makha Leikai in Kakching district, had planted two gulmohar trees about four years ago near her residence when she was in Class I.

This young girl, who is now studying in Class V of Amutombi Divine Life English School in Hiyanglam village, was left heartbroken when she saw the trees she had planted being chopped down for cleaning the bank of a canal in her locality on August 3.

Director of Information and Public Relations Department H Balkrishna said the order was issued “on the advice and initiative of the Chief Minister of Manipur”.

She will remain brand ambassador of the mission for a period of one year and all official tree plantation activities will be taken up recognising her “immense love and exemplary affection for trees” to generate mass awareness on conservation of environment.

Soon after her video became viral, many people visited Valentina to console her. Members of Unique Wildlife Protection Committee (UWPC), a local body for conservation of environment, gave her 20 saplings, including her favourite gulmohar, on the same day the trees were cut down.

“We tried to console her with the saplings after watching the video,” said Ramesh Elangbam of UWPC. “Finally, she agreed to plant a few of them,” he said.

Meanwhile, Valentina’s uncle Monenkumar, who shot and uploaded the video to draw public attention, said that the little girl, who felt grief on seeing the two trees being cut down, looked happy when the news of her appointment was announced on a local TV network last night. “She said she is happy for the recognition given to her due to her love for trees,” he said.

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh tweeted on Wednesday, “She cries for felling down two trees which she planted when she was only in Class I. We rushed at her place and tried to console her providing more saplings. Now she will be the state government’s Green Ambassador for CM’s Green Manipur Mission. Let’s follow her save nature.”

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