Monsoon plantation drives 2020: Gloves, sanitisers and seeds
Denizens are all set for plantation drives with protection gears including gloves, masks and sanitisers, alongside seeds.Updated: Jul 16, 2020 21:01 IST
If monsoon is here, how can the plantation drives be far behind! Amid the pandemic, the volunteers aren’t just carrying seeds but also arming themselves with weaponry including gloves, sanitisers, face masks or shields and ensuring that they adhere to the norms of social distancing.
Delhi-based group We Mean To Clean plans to plant only native trees such as peepal, neem, amaltas, jamun, mango, pilkhan, and semal. They are planning to limit their excursion to West Delhi only this year and cover Janak Puri and Dwarka areas. “At the most we’ll stretch our drive to Sainik Vihar, which is our existing site. We are cognizant of the pandemic situation. So, we are going to have these events with limited participants this year,” says Manish Khurana, co-founder of the group.
“We procure these saplings from forest nurseries and some of our volunteers have cultured such nurseries in their homes to become atmanirbhar. We’ll carry reusable gloves, sanitizers, implements, watering cans or bottles and these saplings to our drives. Every participant will have to strictly adhere to social distancing,” adds Khurana.
“At Sikanderpur watershed management, we are creating Dhau, Salai and Babool forests and seeing that the waterbodies downstream hold water and large part of rain goes inside and recharges ground water.” – Vijay Dhasmana, an ecologist
Vijay Dhasmana, a Noida-based ecologist, says, “We have four restoration sites in Gurugram. Two are already developed and two are getting ready. Most of the planting done at these places is to imitate nature and create habitats that exists in Aravalli landscapes. At Sikanderpur watershed management, we are creating Dhau, Salai and Babool forests and seeing that the waterbodies downstream hold water and large part of rain goes inside and recharges ground water. At the Biodiversity Park, we have already created eight forest types that exists in Aravalli. We will invite people there for planting, if and when it’s possible. Right now we are getting community to help in the nursery. Everyday 10-12 people come to transplant seedlings. All this will be done keeping social distancing in mind.”
One of the volunteers at these drives, Prachi Singh, assistant professor of Environmental Sciences at Delhi University, says, “I came to know about the volunteership for sapling preparation through Facebook. Finding it a perfect opportunity for the lockdown, early morning walks through Aravallis and for gaining on-field experience for preparing saplings, I started going to the Aravalli Biodiversity Park. In the nursery, I learnt how to prepare saplings that belonged to the native species of Aravallis. The entire process of soiling your hands, uprooting tender saplings from the bed, and transferring them to the sapling bags is like feeling life and vibration in those tiny ones. These few hours of work fills my entire day with positivity, peace and sense of coexistence with nature. When we come out of our homes and sit and work in the jungle, we actually realise how small we are and how magnificent, full of life these places are. This has actually brought me out of that small well of ‘self’, widening my horizons to feel life and vibrations in every living creation.”
Every year members of Let’s Walk Gurgaon would engross themselves in making seed balls, but this year the prep for monsoon welcome is different. “Like every year, we will undertake the monsoon plantation drive albeit slightly differently due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the social distancing norms. Instead of organising the plantation drives on our weekly Saturday walks, this time the volunteers of Let’s Walk Gurgaon (LWG) will procure seeds from their neighbourhood nurseries and plant them individually in pre-determined locations within the vicinity of the Aravallis,” says Arvind Dimri, admin of the group.
Environmentalist Vimlendu Jha, who organises an annual plantation drive, is all set to initiate Monsoon Wooding 2020 next week, and says, “This year the aim is to plant over 10,000 native trees in and around Delhi-NCR. Our first phase of plantation will be in Dhauj (Faridabad), Ghaziabad and Chhattarpur (Delhi), with 3,000 trees, and shrubs. The species we will plant are Amaltas, Siris, Khejri, Ronjh, Karanj, Bistendu, Dudhai and others; all are native and indigenous to Delhi-NCR. And this year, given the Covid-19 situation, we will be following utmost physical distancing between volunteers and the plantation team.”
Author tweets @Nainaarora8