The monsoon is still a few weeks away and the city is heating up. And if Mumbai’s slowly changing climate has sparked some amount of concern, now is the time to remedy that by planting more trees. The Sapling Project, an initiative that distributes saplings to Mumbaikars, is organising their first drive of the season on June 16 at Borivali.
“We will be distributing saplings of neem, asoka and some other rain trees. Mango and jambul saplings will also be available. These trees are best suited for the Mumbai climate and grow on their own after two years,” says Satish Vijaykumar, co-founder, The Sapling Project. Traditionally, the days prior to the monsoon are considered the best time to plant saplings as they do not require much care during the rainy season.
The drive on June 16 will look to increase the green cover in Dahisar, Borivali and Mira Road. “People get two saplings for R40. However, they can donate as much as they want about that. And if they feel that there is no place where they can plant them, we will do it for them,” says Vijaykumar.
Ask if recent reports of rain trees under fungus attack are what coaxed the organisers to hand out these saplings, and Vijaykumar says, “Kind of. But we don’t know why that happened. It could be because of the excessive heat. In which case, planting more trees is the best remedy.”
Similarly, Grow-Trees allows people to plant trees on community or public lands. They have ongoing projects at several tiger reserves, including the periphery of Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh, Sariska Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan and Sundarbans National Park in West Bengal. You can also choose to plant saplings of flower and fruit-producing trees.
As part of the project, people can also plant trees on behalf of their friends and family and gift them e-certificates. The cost of planting each sapling is Rs 60.