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NGO offers forest trip to volunteers

Natasha Ajrawal, 26, a dance teacher based in Bandra, will soon move to Tamil Nadu and work as a volunteer in a forest.

mumbai Updated: Jul 20, 2011 01:35 IST
Zahra Gabuji

Natasha Ajrawal, 26, a dance teacher based in Bandra, will soon move to Tamil Nadu and work as a volunteer in a forest.

Ajrawal is one of the 15 people who participated in a workshop on a volunteer-based model for wasteland reclamation held in the city on Tuesday. The speaker at the workshop, Aviram Rozin, co-founder of Sadhana Forest, built on the outskirts of Auroville, spoke about his experience of turning 70 acres of severely eroded land into a tropical dry evergreen forest.

“I always wanted to practise sustainable living. But in an urban jungle like Mumbai, I didn’t know how,” said Ajrawal. “This project will give me a chance to experience a different aspect of life.”

Rozin began his non-profit eco venture seven years ago. “Sadhana Forest is a volunteer- based community where people work together and practise simple and ecological living. They can share ideas, plan events, interact with people from neighbouring villages and plant trees,” said Rozin. “We want to encourage an eco-friendly lifestyle.”

The talk included a discussion on how more people need to be part of the ecological movement. Rozin said that people who can’t make the trip to Sadhana Forest could also form a group in Mumbai, which can help with reforestation on a private land.

Priti Turakhia, who organised the session, said that she wanted to help build a community of like-minded people in city. “We want to organise more sessions to introduce people to Sadhana Forest’s success model and help replicate it in other parts of the country,” she added. Sadhana Forest has more than 1,000 residential volunteers every year.