New Delhi: Former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on World Environment Day Saturday remembered his "friend" Arjuna, a 100-year-old tree, in his official residence at 10, Rajaji Marg here.
Addressing a function at Vigyan Bhawan here, Kalam said the tree, botanically called Terminalia, is his "biodiversity friend".
"I have a great tree, it is my friend and my biodiversity friend and also friend of the young. The age of the tree and that of my parents are almost the same. My father lived 103 years and my mother 90 plus," he said.
"You can ask me, one single tree of 100 years old, can it become a living post for biodiversity. I say firmly yes," he said.
Asking people to plant trees, Kalam said: "I have a suggestion to you friends to organise with all the state governments, state wise, how many million trees they have to plant in two years` time, so that the mission of `billion trees for billion people` will become a reality for the nation."
Kalam said environment and biodiversity conservation will indeed be a collective mission of the 21st century for the humanity, across cities, states, nations and continents.
"Wherever you are, whatever you do, you can certainly make a difference to the environment and conserving biodiversity. It may be home, may be school or college or it may be work centre or walking path on the road or garden," he added.
Kalam made the students present at the ceremony to take an oath to plant and nurture 10 trees per year.