As the saying goes, “Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.”

In the spirit of Environmental conservation and of our duty to give back to Mother Earth, our Nestlings across the country conducted several Tree Plantation Drives during the monsoon season this year.  Great enthusiasm and vigour ensured healthy participation from all the Samuhs and Gats. Overall   113 trees were planted at various locations by 73 Nestlings.  These saplings ranged from Medicinal plants like Neem and Moringa to Fruit trees like Jamun and Lemon to Ornamental plants like Hibiscus and Amaltas. Over 40 varieties were planted as part of the drive. An interesting parameter for short-listing the sapling of choice was adopted by the Mumbai Samuh, which was to choose plants according to the Rashi or Horoscope. These trees are called ‘Rashi Vruksha’. Each Rashi is assigned one particular tree called’ Aaradhya Vruksha’. Three such trees were planted at the Ayurved Mahavidyalay in Sion.

The plantation drive by the Chandigarh Samuh was celebrated by an event of storytelling where in a Nestling shared a story about the powerful ‘Maiti Andolan’ in the Chamoli District of Uttarakhand which was pioneered by one man and one thought.  His unique idea led to the springing up of a huge Community forest of five lakh trees and also triggered a socio-cultural transformation in the neighboring villages.

The story goes as follows, “A  school teacher decided to give his daughter a fruit-bearing sapling as part of her bride wealth to take and for him to keep he asked her to plant one sapling in his courtyard as a memory of her childhood. This simple action took wind with the locals and it became so popular that all the villagers and the local community started to follow it as a tradition. This story demonstrates the power of a thought which moved society and eventually led to the translation of an idea into a Forest. “

In 2020 this gentleman, Mr. Kalyan Singh Rawat was felicitated with the Padma Shri Award by the Government of India for his contributions.

Across the country, the Nestlings participated with great ardor and zeal. They learned, shared, leaped and laughed, all while keeping the purpose of the initiative in focus. The tree plantation drive this year by NEST was a first of such initiatives loved and enjoyed by Nestlings all over.

The Ujjain Gat saw participation from the bystanders while the Indore Gat witnessed participation from the future prospective Nestlings which sent the message of the importance of conserving nature to the future generations as well. The West Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Samuh, saw individual participation in addition to the collective activity, five Nestlings planted saplings even at their homes in Haldwani, Rishikesh and Rudrapur.

The Tree plantation drive was a great opportunity to bond, learn, share, contribute and give back to the environment. Lessons of nurturing and fostering were not only restricted to planting and caring for trees but they percolated deeper into the conscience instilling the importance of nature and of being one with it.

Authored by: Aarti Sharma

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