NEW DELHI: Swechha, a city-based NGO, has taken to crowdfunding to raise Rs 1 crore to plant 25,000 trees in Delhi-NCR as part of its initiative, monsoon wooding.
“We are asking for a minimum contribution of Rs 400 per sapling. We buy healthy mature saplings as the free government saplings are limited in variety and not very healthy,” Vimlendu Jha, an environmental activist and founder of Swechha, said.
“We are focusing on only planting native tree species. Other expenditures include transport (for volunteers, saplings, manure and other essential material), maintenance, manure and tools,” Jha said.
Natural forests and green cover help to combat air pollution. However, they have been chopped down in large numbers for the sake of development.
“About 40,000 trees were cut down for the Metro construction. Recently, 3,500 hectares of forest were swept off in the Uttarakhand forest fires, which is approximately 28 lakh trees. This also added to the overall air pollution in North India,” Jha said.
The NGO has been actively involved in multiple plantation drives since 2005, having planted over 20,000 trees around Delhi NCR, with an average rate of survival of 80%, he said.
“The response has been very good this time. We have already raised Rs 5 lakh in three days. Earlier, we had created Delhi’s first urban mini forest with native tree species in St Mary’s School, Dwarka. We have also planted Faridabad’s first urban forest in 2014,” Jha said.