When we cut trees, soil becomes loose, temperature rises and Earth cries!!
-as taught to my 5 Yr old in Sr KG
It was a sunny morning in Bishnoi village on the outskirts of Jodhpur, about 22 KM from the blue city. We had just plopped on the bed in our hut after a 14 hr long journey. Little did I know then that we were in the midst of a place and community that had such monumental historic significance - first Chipko Movement. Later that evening, a casual, and rather quick, narrative of Khejarli village from the camp owner flashed fleeting memories of my high school history lessons. But the reference, and its acceptance, was too matter-of-factly to generate any real curiosity.
Khejarli village witnessed first Chipko Movement when 363 persons, led by Amrita Devi, sacrificed their lives to save sacred Khejri trees.
Until last year, my most 'recent' memories of tree plantation dated back to carefree childhood days (aaah.. a quarter century ago). Village panchayat had initiated the drive to plant 100s of young trees along the main pucca road that run through our village. It was a noble act with eventual success rate in 20s/30s.
Trees were also fenced to prevent passing cattle feasting on them. We would count trees on that road while 'driving' our local BMW - a worn out tyre - with a stick. In hindsight, I recollect 'young green trees' decorating the road while most old trees often dwarfing the nearby houses. Later, the count was focused on 'young survivors'.
My 'False' Belief
In my early years, I believed that I had never felled a tree. After all, 'Nature care' had always been my noble thought.... mere Thought!! Planting a tree never crossed the mind. Though the 'belief' was shattered long ago but the thought never 'empowered' my hands enough.
Things changed only last year when I participated in my first tree plantation drive and I realized how fulfilling an experience it was.
We consume and use 10s of products daily without sparing a thought about replenishing its source. 'Replenish' never appears as one of the key 'R's among Reduce-Reuse-Recycle hierarchy.
A study, based on NASA data, says that there are 61 trees per person in this world as of 2008. It is then fair, albeit on a lighter note, to ask whether I have already consumed my allocation. Or even lighter, whether I am felling your trees.
Seed Collection Drive
Last Saturday, 28th April, I participated in Hariyali Seed Collection drive (thanks to MS association) in Maharashtra Nature Park, Mahim.
It was a 4 hour event starting at 8 AM and we spent good 2+ hrs in collecting seeds of various species of trees.
We were a group of about 45 persons and formed 2 teams marching in opposite directions. At the end, total collection amounted to an impressive 4.5 kgs of seeds (approx). What next?
These seeds will be distributed across nurseries to be grown into saplings. Come Monsoon and saplings will be ready to venture into this world and grow into young tender trees.
My Goal is to plant at least 100 trees. Current count stands at just 7. I will push it into tens in coming July when I participate in my second green drive.
What is your goal? Are you self-sufficient or felling others' trees?
July is the month when we, together, can plant few (more), convert that 'noble thought' into young trees and paint The Earth 'Green'!!
"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now".-Chinese proverb