IMPHAL: A nine-year-old girl, who has been appointed as the state's green ambassador after a video showing her crying over felled trees won hearts on the Internet, said she wanted to be a forest officer when she grew up and generate awareness on environment conservation.
The video clip, which went viral on social media, showed Valentina Elangbam, a resident of Hiyanglam Makha in Kakching district, weeping inconsolably as two Gulmohar trees that she had planted four years ago have been chopped down.
Chief Minister N Biren Singh had announced her appointment as the green ambassador last week.
"She cry for felling down of 2 trees which she planted when she was only in class 1. 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 (sic)," he had tweeted.
The CM had also ordered the forest department to gift 20 saplings to Elangbam to compensate for her loss.
Expressing gratitude over her appointment, the nine-year-old said she would reach out to people and explain to them the importance of conserving the environment.
"I don't understand why most people do not care about the importance of preserving our environment. I want to become a forest officer when I grow up and reach out to them and tell them it was necessary," she said.
Her father, Premkumar, said the Class 5 girl waters trees and flowering plants every day before going to school.
"Elangbam had been nurturing several flowering plants and trees near our place for the past few years. The two Gulmohar trees were felled due to a road widening project. We could not have stopped it," he said.
A statement issued by the state Department of Information and Public Relations (DIPR) said Elangbam has been appointed as 'brand ambassador' for 'Chief Minister's Green Manipur Mission' for one year "in recognition of her immense love and affection for trees and to generate mass awareness on conservation of environment".
It also said that Elangbam will be a part of the government-sponsored plantation programmes.