There used to be an advertisement that used to take up much of TV time. The catchy line went:"Aur kya chal raha hai? Aajkal Fogg chal raha hai?" I must say in Tripura, aajkal oxygen hi oxygen chal raha hai. Besides setting up oxygen plants in each district of Tripura, the state government has opened up an oxygen park amid lush forests where people can go and breathe in fresh air.
The oxygen park has an attractive green entrance in the shape of lungs. Located at Sal Bagan, which is about 8 km from Agartala, it is a nice getaway from the pollution and non-stop activities of the city. The place is perfect for de-stressing and long drives
Once you reach the park you will notice that it has a big area for parking vehicles. Visitors can refer to the map given just at the entrance. Concrete paver blocks are laid for them to walk on. One can feel the serenity of the forest amidst the park and walk for approximately 2,000 metres.
Since the park has just opened, there is not much to look around but the forest department has made efforts to make it a bit entertaining with pictorial information about 19 different tribal communities in Tripura, a section dedicated to information about orchids found in Tripura, a section to know about animals found in the state and a colourful spot for practicing yoga. There are quite many cemented colourful rectangular bars where one can lay their yoga and perform yoga in a calm environment.
During a walk with my young cousin to the park, she expressed her delight and hoped that her school would bring them for a picnic to the park. While walking the whole 2,000 metres path, we observed orchid plants planted on the trees, some of which were already blooming with purple orchids. There is also a fully furnished wooden cottage inside the park which will soon open to tourists. There is even a small nursery around the corner.
At the end of our oxygen park tour, my cousin was excited to play in a tiny play spot made specially for children. There were merry-go-rounds, seesaws, slides, swings and even 3 open gym equipment set up for adults and children to build strength and agility. Quite a number of people were seen relaxing themselves out here. However, since the path inside the park is amidst the forest, I would recommend not to go alone for evening walks. It might not be safe.
The only thing we missed was food. Food stalls have not come up yet so after a long walk there we had to wait till we got home to replenish ourselves. I strongly feel that a food court that serves healthy food should be established. This will help woo more health-conscious people to visit often. Overall, my cousin and I enjoyed our walk in the park. We spent some quality time together amidst the greenery.
This article has been created as a part of the Adivasi Awaaz project, with the support of Misereor and Prayog Samaj Sevi Sanstha.