The 'cold desert' of Leh on Sunday entered the Guinness Book of World Records after 50,000 saplings were planted at a village in Leh in less than one hour by 9,000 volunteers under a drive supported by Buddhist monks to mark the 'green' Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
The earlier record was held by Peru where 40,000 saplings were planted during an one-hour event by 8,000 volunteers.
The programme was flagged off by Drukchen Rinpoche, Chairman of 'Live to Love' initiative, at 10 seconds past 10.10 am today (October 10, 2010). The event was held in collaboration with the Commonwealth Games Delhi.
More than 15,000 volunteers reached Changa village, which is nearly 40 km away from Leh town, this morning but only 9,000 were allowed to participate in the drive in this remote Himalayan region which saw massive devastation after cloudburst and flash floods in early August.
A team of three members from Guinness World Record was in the village to monitor the event.
The Chairman and Adjudicator of the team Tarika Vara announced that 9,000 people have successfully planted 50,300 saplings in less than one hour which is a new world record.
Addressing a public gathering, the Rinpoche said the drive was held to preserve the environment. He noted that in the recent past Leh has witnessed widespread devastation and said such calamities cannot be prevented but their impact can be minimised by plantation drives.
BJP leader and former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje was also present on the occasion.