When an A-lister bites the toenail it is discussed with vivid detail in Blogosphers. When something Earth changing like a Mass Tree Planting Marathon is underway, I’m surprised by the deafening silence!
Project Green Hands of Isha Foundation is an initiative to increase the green cover of the state of Tamil Nadu( India) by 10% over the next ten years. Here is the a quote from the Project Rationale:
Statistics show that the number of trees required to make substantial difference is huge and daunting – for example, an estimated 114 million new trees are required to increase the green cover of the state of Tamil Nadu by 10% (from the present 17.5%, over the next 10 years). However, as Sadhguru says, if every one of the 62 million people of Tamil Nadu planted one tree in 2006 and another in 2007 and tend to it over the next 10 years, we would have 124 million young trees, by the year 2016.
Actual statistics and practical logistics may come in the way, but the rationale is very simple, with the right kind of focus and motivation, the gap between what is needed and what is possible could be very small.
Surely, raising two saplings over the next 10 years is a task that even the poorest of the poor can do. The rich and the resourceful could do much more. So with no additional financial burden upon the state, just people’s action could make something truly beautiful, wonderful and timely, happen. Faced with the grim threats to the environment that exist today, this is the scale of action that is required.
Besides, it is a well known conservation paradigm that people conserve only what they love and value. So the amount of awareness, sensitivity, and involvement created amoung the general population through planting and growing trees combined with the inspiration received and the motivation created in accomplishing such a huge task would be a huge social and national asset.
The world record setting, Mass Tree Planting Marathon is presently happening in Tamil Nadu. Some 200,000 people are taking part in the activity dispersed across 2000 locations planting 700,000 plant saplings.
The project originated as part of Tsunami rehabilitation effort in coastal areas. Planting of trees along the coastline will act as a wave breaker in case of a future Tsunami. It is extended to the entire state now. The process of seed selection, and making the sapling is done with dedication involving school children, common men, educated, illiterate, rich, poor, famous etc all alike.
Hat tip to Jaggi Vasudev
Update( 24 Sep 2007): This years Project Green Hands is even more ambitious 25 Million Trees for 2007 and they start on September – That is confidence! . Catch all the action at the Gramotsavam Blog.