In association with Mahim Nature Park, our team out on a mission to plant trees on July 1, 2016. Nearly 200 volunteers were present at Mahim Nature Park, near Sion. Members of the park allocated our team a section where volunteers begun their morning, planting their own tree. Just half an hour into the event our volunteers started partnering up with other volunteers at the park, including local school children, which caught our attention. They worked as a team to help the Mahim Nature Park reach their goal and set a national record of planting 2 crore saplings as determined by the Government of Maharashtra.
Strangely enough, the rain did not dampen these volunteers’ spirits. The morale of two volunteers in particular was impressive. An eleven year old school-boy, Rakesh, took on the responsibility of sheltering everyone else from the rain using his umbrella. Meanwhile, Gauri, a ten year old, continued the activity throughout the event, even when it rained. Although we tried to convince her that it would be okay to wait until the rain was over, so as to not soil her skirt, she made it clear that she had come out to volunteer for a cause close to her heart. Planting a sapling was more important to her on that day, than her skirt.
We couldn’t agree with her more. We were in disbelief that children as young as 10 understood the importance of giving back to society in the causes that they support. It is time for the young adults to learn from these little volunteers and contribute in whatever little way they can. It is essential that we set an example for future generations pushing them to give back to society, to whole-heartedly invest their time in a cause they believe in and to reap the many personal benefits of volunteering.
Aishwarya Kadam, a 22 year old student who loves the wilderness (and took part in the event as a volunteer) reinforced that belief. She was grateful for the chance to be part of this initiative, and took pride that it had been undertaken:
The entire event itself was special. But the most appealing part was involving teenagers/school kids. At least they are a step ahead in what we should have done years ago. It’s a great way to make the new generation aware of the critical situation.
The natural forest areas are shrinking, giving way to air pollution, and the government is doing everything in their capacity to increase forest cover across the country. In an attempt to restore balance to the planet, the Maharashtra State Government has taken on the ambitious challenge of planting 2 crore trees statewide, which will help reduce carbon emissions and reduce the effects of global warming. The goal is to increase forest coverage from 20% to 33%, as reported by Times of India in an article, ‘Govt plans to plant 2 cr trees’, on April 1, 2016.
Over the past month we have come across some wonderful examples of organisations and individuals that have carried out Tree Plantation Drives. As part of a record breaking environmental campaign, 1.5 million volunteers, in Madhya Pradesh, managed to plant 66 million trees in just 12 hours. Now isn’t this selfless dedication something we can be proud of and celebrate as a stepping stone towards achieving our government’s goal of a greener India?
As a result of all the efforts taking place and after assessing how successful our Tree Plantation Drive was last year, we are hosting VicTree 2.0 on the 23rd July, 2017. This event, similar to our Tree Plantation Drive from last year, is located in a forest in Rabale, Tetavali, close to Navi Mumbai and Thane. The drive begins bright and early in the morning at 8 AM and will go on till 10:30 AM. Let’s do our bit to protect the environment and strive for a cleaner, greener and better India.
-Written by CF Member, Nikita Shah, for The Better India
To know more about the event or any other opportunities to volunteer, visit this website.