Tuesday, July 26, 2016

10 Million Trees Plantation : An account

This year (2016) is the third year of my Ayurvedic plantation at Gandhora in Tuljapur Taluka of Maharashtra, India. In 2014 we started with token plantation do Amla & Bael plants. It was just for the purpose of creating awareness among people and to understand how they take care of the plants.

Palash tree at the Bhavani Yoga Kshetra plantation site at Gandhora
In 2015, our approach was little more bold and wider in terms of impact. We planted about 500 trees n shrubs. It included variety of Ayurvedic species. I myself spent about two months in collecting the saplings from various places, getting the pits dug, actually planting the saplings, putting some protection around the plants, and building the water tank for ensured water supply for the plants. Last year was a year of drought in this region and all plants required watering right from the beginning of the season except couple of months when it rained scanty. Couple of all time attendants for these plants had to be recruited.

Rest of the year I spent most of my time in convincing local people about importance of plantation. I utilised my travel & lectures n Satsangs to convince my friends to donate for the cause of tree plantation. Utilised social media to a great extent for the purpose of canvasing.

In the year 2016, I was more vocal about my campaign of planting 10 million trees. Evehry single Satsang, retreat that I organised, the income was diverted for the cause of tree plantation.

As my approach is to bring in the maximum Vedic concepts and Ayurveda principles in this plantation exercise, we organised Ganesha Yaag on the occasion of Ganesh Jayanti on Feb 11, 2016. Main sankalpa during the Ganesh Yaag was for the abundant rainfall in the region and receiving the blessings of Ganesha for the mission of planting 10 million trees. During my address to the villagers, they committed to plant 15000 plants in June 2016 drive.

I utilised the period from Feb to June to campaign for the tree plantation drive that was planned in the last week of June. Main focus during this period was to raise maximum funds for the drive. My friends & students in India and from various parts of the world responded really well to my appeal and donated generously. In all, donations useful for plantation of 2000 trees (and protection of them) were collected. We received donations from Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Pune etc in India. Foreign funding was received from England, US, Canada, France, Norway, Denmark, & Russia.

In July we started plantation. One program was organised where villagers gathered together. Plants, that were brought from Nashik were distributed to them with written commitment that they will take care of them for minimum three years. During the program and later on approximate 700 plants were distributed. We later on did digging the pits with the help of JCB machines. And ourselves planted about 600 plants. 200 more saplings need to be planted after the pits drain the stored rainwater. 

Following species were planted:

Amaltas, Arjun, Ashok (Sita), Bael, Bakul, Behda, Bhadraksha, Bhokar, Guggal, Hirda, Kadamb, Karanj, Kanchan, Indrajav (Kuda), Moha, Muchkunda, Nevar, Pimpal, Raktrohida, Raktchandan, Saptaparni, Gambhari, Sonchafa, Shyonak, Audumbar, Vat, Amba (Mango), Phanas (Jackfruit), Chiku, Jamun, Peru (Guava), Amla, Brahmi, Chitrak, Gudmaar, Guduchi, Pippali, Kanher, Mogra, Chafa (3 varieties), Tulsi, Ashwagandha, Coconut, Shevga, Hadga, Henna, Shikakai, Gajga, Gunj, Reetha, Ramphal, Sitaphal, Ber, Bamboo, Nirgundi, Parijaat, Adulsa, Punarnava, dhatura.

(All names are in Marathi & Hindi language)

Some of these species with different varieties were planted. I may have missed any names.

Additionally we have planted thousands of seeds of Arjun, Reetha, Shikakai, Ramphal & Sitaphal.
We also have thrown hundreds of thousands of seeds of Ayurvedic plants which fall in the category of grass and shrubs. 

Our intention is to plant maximum plants this year (minimum 25000). As you plant early, you reap the benefits early. For this reason I have been conducting meetings with the villagers of the adjoining villages.

My purpose is to take various varieties to this one single location. Later on the birds, through crowdung, the seeds get spread and automatically more plants grow. This year we witnessed that hundreds of Ashwagandha & Tulsi plants have grown on their own. 

To create good vibe for the plantation, to invoke blessings of the caring goddess,  we performed the Nav Chandi Yajna at the plantation site, to bring benefits of Ayurveda to the villagers, Free health check up & treatment camp was organised where Ayurveda experts treated the patients. And on the same day (Guru Purnima) we felicitated my mother on the occasion of her 75th birthday. She is the one who made the land owned by her available for our plantation.

As far as public support is concerned, it is really herculean task to convince people and get saplings planted by them. Protecting the plants requires continuous guidance sessions for people. As I have mentioned in one of my FB post, More than advise, jealousy works. Some educated souls have got jealous and have been planting more plants out of jealousy. Good for the cause.

Lot of hurdles have been created by some who resort to deceitful means to derail the plantation drive. But my moral is high as I believe it is divine responsibility and the Supreme Mother Bhavani is channelising good energies to overcome any obstacles. My satisfaction comes from the fact that the people associated with this project come from various religious, social backgrounds, from different geographical locations. And already the plantation is useful in giving medicine to the people and they are getting cured.

This is the account of our plantation drive of July 2016, which is part of our 10 million Ayurvedic trees plantation mission.

In the end I thank all the donors, well wishers, volunteers for their kind support to this noble humanitarian cause. If I appeared arrogant, unreasonable during my interactions with you any time, kindly forgive me.

And I make a sincere appeal to donate more for this cause of planting 10 million trees. 
It's not about only planting trees, but creating the monument of our shared consciousness.
I beg you a jungle.

Lots of love.
Shubham Bhavatu.

Yogi Arwind