About 90,000 people visited a sand sculpture made by well-known sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik on Puri beach even as lakhs thronged the Lord Jagannath temple a few km away in the coastal Odisha town on the occasion of New Year’s Day on Wednesday.
Mr. Patnaik carved the tree with “2020” written on the leaves and “Happy New Year” greetings below along with 20 of his students.
“Let Green be our motto to save environment. Happy2020,” he tweeted along with a video of the sculpture.
The sculpture was completed on Tuesday evening and devotees and revellers who have gathered in Puri on the occasion of New Year’s Day visited it. They appreciated Mr. Patnaik’s concern for the issue of climate change.
Mr. Patnaik, who had recently carved a sculpture on Puri beach depicting an elephant crying over the trunk of a felled tree, told The Hindu that he would strive to celebrate 2020 as ‘Green Year’ and highlight the issue of climate change wherever he goes to take part in sand art festivals across the world.
“Climate challenge is the biggest of all challenges which the present day world is facing. I will try my best to create more sand sculptures to highlight the issue with the appeal to the people plant more and more trees to fight climate change,” said Mr. Patnaik.
The Puri-born sand artist, who is at present the president of Odisha Lalit Kala Akademi, had also created a sand sculpture on plastic pollution at Puri beach a few months ago. He has also carved many sculptures on environment conservation in the past.