Being an eco-friendly person is not an impossible task for an individual. But expecting everyone in a locality to do be ecologically conscious seems like a distant, Utopian dream.
Nature shed its martyr role long back and became a mirror reflecting our actions. Floods, Heatwave, Forest-Fire, Water-Crisis, Locust Swarms, Climate Change, etc. The list is extensive. Before Nature becomes mute to our cries, it is time that we changed the perception of people we could come across.
Catching them young
Some people among us are actually taking the message to the current and future generations. Members of the Sankara-Tulsi Trust in Covai are doing a wonderful job by inspiring kids to be eco-warriors. The Trust motivates school-students to plant tree-saplings near their homes.
Talking to Nagaraj, Coordinator of the Trust, we learned that free evening-classes are conducted for interested school children by them. Volunteers of the Trust teach the kids. During such classes, the importance of planting trees are also conveyed to them. Around 300-400 children learn there. With the help of Siruthuli, the Trust has provided the saplings that the children desire.
“We inspect where they are planning to plant and suggest the right place to plant them. Children love to plant fruit-giving trees. We appreciate that and we teach them in planting and how to properly plant the saplings.”
The progress of the sapling planted by a child is noted by the Trust every week. Volunteers have been to inspect the students’ planted saplings. Based on the care shown to the sapling, the children are appreciated. All the children are from Government Schools.
“We convey children the importance of trees and they are responsive. We believe when a child learns and wholly absorbs the value of plants, and when he raises a plant into a tree, he gains patience, confidence and the becomes a responsible citizen”, says Nagaraj.
The Inspired ignites The Brave
Another NGO doing an incredible work is Aachankulam Padhugappu Sangam. The majority of the 150 members here are seniors and farmers. The Prosopis Juliflora trees (Karuvela Marams) in the 70-80 acres in Western area of Aachakulam were uprooted by the association.
The saplings planted by them for 3 kilometers near the pond is giving shades and enriching the area. The association has removed piles of Plastic Wastes from the water body.
They also deliver lectures to college students and facilitate NSS activities when they are approached. Special addresses are given in school to educate and motivate young minds.
Ms.Banu, a member of Aachankulam Padhugappu Sangam said that the activities made by Kovai Kulam Padhugapu Amaipu created an inspirational spark in like minded people of the Neelambur region. Banu said they formed a network and engaged in taking care of the Aachankulam Pond by engaging with the farmers and youngsters.
“The inspiration from Kovai Kulam Padhugapu Amaipu and the excellent guidance given to us by eco-activist P.K.Selvaraj, (whose work to revive River Kowsika is immense)”
The tree-planting initiatives taken by a youth organization in 2007 in Neelambur named Vivekanandhar Ilaignar Sakthi Iyakkam served as the base for Ms.Banu to associate herself with such activities. She was a Girl Scout during her schooling and she is a recipient of Governor’s Award.
To Ms.Banu, gender has not been a hurdle she could not overcome, and because of her family’s support she has been able to inspire others.
For the love of land
Meet Mr.Rajendiran, an activist engaged in green initiatives in Karadimadai. He is a politician who is also a nature-lover. He worked single-handedly for several years to make 10 acres of Squatter Land in Karadimadai to become a Pond so that it could benefit farmers.
The water-scarcity in Karadimadai is huge. 1500 acres of land could get benefited if the ground water gets replenished. With the support from a very benevolent industrialist who has firm roots in Coimbatore and through others, the 10 acres of land has been dug well and made into several ponds. There was Govt’s check-dams nearby and this initiative has added new strength to it.
“If we need any solutions, we consult with Siruthuli’s Managing Trustee Mrs.Vanitha Mohan. We get valuable ideas from her”, said Rajendiran.
When asked about the current status, Rajendiran said “We got rain twice but due to the climate change, we have not been able to see the ponds get the needed quantity of water”
There are hundreds of NGOs and Individuals doing extraordinary work to resurrect, recover, rejuvenate Nature. But hundreds are not enough for the billions of people that live around us. World needs more! Spread the Word…