By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: At a time when deforestation can be termed as the order of the day, the Catholic Church under Mawbir Parish embarked on a noble initiative of blessing two acres of forest area as ‘sacred groves’ so as to preserve the greenery.
The concerned forest area at Sohliya near Umiam in Ri Bhoi district is under the jurisdiction of the Church which held a special service to bless the newly declared ‘sacred groves’ on Tuesday.
Prominent catholic priest Dr Sylvanus Sing Lyngdoh was among the thousands who gathered for the service. Around 1000 saplings were also planted on the occasion.
“This was the first such attempt by any Catholic church, perhaps in the world, to preserve the environment,” Father Leomary Lyndem of the Church said.
“This is an effort to protect our water resources and different species living in the forest besides the trees,” he added.
The local people lauded the endeavour of the Church.
Sacred forests in the State are normally preserved by traditional religious institutions since the ancient days. Prominent among the sacred forests is the one at Mawphlang near here.