All said and done, it hurts to have to dispose of 10 million cubic meters of
timber as miscellaneous loss. Especially when you think that it is the livelihood
of some thousands of people. Well, dispose they must, but these people are doing
it the best possible way.
The Swiss Consulate and the A P Tourism Department are organizing a special event called 'Swiss Bench Art' (wood painting). This is being organized in commemoration of the loss in 'Lothar', one of the most devastating storms of this century that happened in December 1999, lashed several parts of Europe including Switzerland, and caused extensive damage to forests, resulting in a loss of over 10 million cubic meters of timber.
Instead of discarding the damaged timber in the then disaster, the consulate is using much of it to promote creativity. Using the timber planks as canvasses, school children will be asked to paint on any topic of their choice. As a symbolic gesture, 26 planks representing the 26 states of Switzerland will be given to students selected from classes VIII and IX from 26 schools, and they will be asked to paint the planks. Of these, a jury will select ten planks, and these prize-winning planks will be put up for auction on the last day, and the proceeds directed to charity.
The consulate has been organizing similar events in various cities in India. Through these contests conducted from May to September this year, 1,075 benches have come up at public places from sidewalks to airports.
Students willing to take part in this event can get in touch with Narasimha at
the Department of Tourism, Tank Bund Road, Hyderabad. Please contact 345-2492
for further details.