Borjomi Heroes Identified within the Project #BorjomiNatureFans

The forest restoration process continues in Borjomi, with autumn planting carried out on the plateau on October 13. Within the initiative of mineral water brand Borjomi, 1,850 saplings were planted. In addition, the award ceremony of the “Heroes of Borjomi” took place, seeing special prizes awarded to those who have fought to put out forest blazes.

IDS Borjomi, Georgian Public Relation Department Manager Nitsa Cholokashvili noted that the ‘Borjomi Heroes’ event won’t be the last and will continue.

“IDS Borjomi is the initiator of the nomination of ‘Borjomi Heroes,’ which will be held annually. This year those people, journalists, volunteers, my colleagues and servicemen were awarded in honor: people who helped in extinguishing forest fires.”

The title of ‘Borjomi Hero’ was granted to Forest Ranger Ivane Kupradze, who died during a fire when a burning tree fell on him on September 5 this year. IDS Borjomi delivered the award to his family with a gift of 5,000 GEL.

"It is precisely for the environment, the protection of nature, the preservation of each tree that my husband was serving, and I am truly honored by his contributions and that people respect his memory. I would like to thank the company Borjomi for this. This reward will always remind me that my husband served his own country. He loved what he was doing right down to his soul and heart, and suffered for each tree,” said Natia Mumladze, wife of the late Ranger.

Awards were also given to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 112, Emergency Management Service, Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, National Forestry Agency, Ministry of Defense of Georgia, Ministry of Health and Social Affairs of Georgia, The Prime Minister's Office, Samtskhe-Javakheti Regional Administration and Borjomi municipality board. Volunteers awarded included Davit Abramishvili and Tengiz Kikacheishvili, employees of IDS Borjomi, photographer George Kakulia.

TV station information services were awarded, as well as their journalists and operators: Rustavi 2, Imedi, Public Broadcaster, Maestro TV, TV Pirveli, Iberia, Akhaltsikhe 9th Channel and Borjomi TV.

“We were witnessing very hard facts and tried to do our best to provide our audience with objective and quick information about what was going on at that time in Borjomi,” said journalist of First Channel, Salome Qoqiashvili.

In Borjomi, people working in the disaster zone unanimously declared that they were doing their professional duties at that moment without thinking about life and safety. 2018 Borjomi Hero Temo Gelashvili was the youngest among the award-winners. He did not have safety gear during last year's fires but nonetheless battled with bare hands.

The Borjomi Forest Restoration Campaign under the auspices of the mineral water brand’s Corporate Social Responsibility Project #BorjomiNatureFans has been implemented since 2015. During this period, three hectares of forest was restored and 7,500 trees were planted.

By Mariam Merabishvili

18 October 2018 22:25