A student of the fifth standard, Elangbam Valentina Devi has been appointed as Manipur’s green ambassador for one year “in recognition of her immense love and affection for trees and to generate mass awareness on conservation of environment”.

She was seen in a video crying immensely on seeing the two trees planted by her being cut down went viral on social media.

The nine-year-old girl said that she wants to become a forest officer when she grows up and generates environment conservation. She belongs to Hiyanglam Makha in Kakching district. When she was in class 1, she planted two Gulmohar (royal poinciana) trees by the side of a river. On Saturday, after she saw that the two trees were cut down for a project to widen a road beside the river.

After the video went viral, Chief Minister N Biren Singh announced her appointment as the green ambassador last week. She was gifted 20 saplings by the forest department to compensate for her loss.

The little girl expressed her gratitude saying, “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.” 

Premkumar, her father said she is fond of trees and she 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.

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