Even as state agencies and corporates shrug their shoulders, a local youth group from Kasan village in the Aravali foothills bordering the Industrial Model Township (IMT), Manesar has been actively engaged in an environmental clean-up drive. They have already planted thousands of air-purifying breeds of trees and plan to plant a lakh more to ensure a better environment in the midst of the polluting carbon and toxic waste released by the adjoining industrial area — which houses national and international manufacturing giants.
Village locals have volunteered for the Adarsh Yuva group, which sows plants like neem, peepal and other plants of the 'ficus' family that release oxygen even during the day.
Dev Pal, who runs the nursery, said, "We were sitting and discussing the vast stretch of IMT overlooking the village when we realised how several industries must be polluting the air we breathe."
A young volunteer, Rajbeer, said, "We want to make sure our coming generations do not fall victim to the pollution. Since the local authorities or even the polluting industries themselves hardly care, we decided to take matters into our own hands."
The villagers manage all cost on their own. The youths either grow plants in their own nurseries or buy saplings from nurseries across the country. Planting a tress costs around R500 while regularly irrigating them requires tankers, charging R100 per trip, to be taken to the hill top.
Voices have been raised in the past protesting the local pollution department's failure to regulate industries which do not dispose their waste properly, endangering residents.