It’s been more than eight years to the announcement of State symbols of Chandigarh but a large number of city denizens and even, the senior officers of UT Administration still remain unaware about this.
The City Beautiful has an official state bird namely Indian grey hornbill (Ocyceros Birostros), state animal namely Indian Grey Mangoose (Herpestes Edwardsi), state tree named Mango tree (Mangifera Indica) and state flower named Dhak Flower (Butea Frondosa). These four state symbols were officially announced in the year 2010.
Even though these state symbols were chosen keeping in view their huge numbers across the city, they have gone unnoticed so far.
While the UT Forest and Wildlife Department conducts awareness campaigns every year to apprize citizens especially students about the state symbols, the officers and officials in the Chandigarh Administration themselves are oblivious of these state symbols.
Many officers have confessed about not knowing the state symbols even as their pictures are displayed at several places in the UT Secretariat building, Sector 9 and other government offices of Departments of UT Administration.
In the year 2014, it was proposed to declare a “state symbols day” in Chandigarh but the proposal was put on the backburner.
The UT Forest and Wildlife Department has now planned to popularize the state symbols atleast among the UT officers and get their facts straight. The cover of all Departments related files have been modified to display pictures of the state symbols.
Apart from this, Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and other organizations have been requested to include the state symbols of Chandigarh in their annual reports, newsletters or other publications.
“It’s true that many officers do not know about the state symbols yet. We have now started displaying these symbols on our Department’s files which are sent to other UT Departments for official work. The move is aimed at apprizing the officers in Administration about the state symbols,” said Dr Abdul Qayum, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Chandigarh, while talking to The Pioneer.
“During the wildlife week celebrations every year, events are held in schools to make students aware about the state symbols. More activities to popularize these symbols will be planned during the wildlife week this year,” he said.
When asked about celebrating the “state symbols day” in the city, he said that currently, no such proposal is in the pipeline.
In the past, the UT Forest and Wildlife Department had launched a postal stamp to create awareness about the winged ambassador of Chandigarh. Apart from this, envelopes of the state’s bird were distributed among school students and residents across the city.