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 Occupying an entire continent of some 7.6 million square kilometers, Australia is the 6th largest country in the world. However, only 60% of the Australian landmass is fertile and so environment is a vital issue for the country. In tune with this scenario, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha has participated in 16 tree plantation drives till now in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane.

As part of an on-going project, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Melbourne held a Tree Plantation Drive on Saturday 30 April 2011 to contribute to the environment in which it will operate. The plantation drive had the dual purpose of also enhancing the landscape of the soon-to-be completed mandir – now in its final month of construction.

Jnanpurush Swami and Adarshmuni Swami were present for the event along with the Honourable Matthew Guy, Minister for Planning, Government of Victoria. The Minister lauded the activities of BAPS saying, “Organizations such as these bring value to our community. I keenly look forward to the commencement of cultural and spiritual activities when this mandir opens.” Other guests and supporters of BAPS who participated in the plantation drive included David Short, Acting Senior Sergeant representing Victoria Police; Sitesh Bhojani, BAPS Trustee; Goldy Brar, Electorate Officer; and Vasan Srinivasan, President of FIAV. Architect Paul Zaviska and builder Tim Kraskov also attended.

All were impressed with the progress of the new mandir which will bring a fresh vitality to the community. Further plantation drives are scheduled around the country where BAPS works with local communities to contribute positively to Australia’s environment.

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