VRUKSHA RAKSHA – A unique environmental and academic project was launched in 15 schools simultaneously on the 29th June 2015. Vruksha Raksha is a project initiated by Shri AnanthKumar, Union Minister and Member of Parliament [Bangalore-South], to improve the green cover of the country by actively involving school children in the process.
Children from Urban schools will prepare the saplings and their peers in the rural area of Ragihalli Village (a village adopted by Shri. AnanthKumar as part of Adarsh Sansad Gram Yojana) will plant and grow the saplings. Every tree, thus planted, will be tagged with GPS location. Further names of both the students (i.e. student from rural and urban area) with an unique id will be attached to every such tree. Both these students will get Green Certificate for their contribution to the movement.
Each student will be given a kit containing soil, organic fertiliser, sapling covers and 8 seeds (4 varieties). These would be,
1. Santalum album – SANDAL WOOD (Shrigandha)
2. Azadirachta indica – NEEM
3. Terinalia bellarica –THARE
4. Millettia pinnata – HONGE
A broad overview
The pioneer of 100% Neem coated Urea initiative; Sri Ananth Kumar has now initiated the much required citizens’ movement for a greener Bengaluru. We have fondly titled it Green Bengaluru 1:1 initiative.
In brief, based on the research done by IISc it has been realized that we need to move on war footing to create more greenery in the city. An ideal tree to man ratio is 7:1, while today, we are an abysmally low ratio of 1 tree for every 7 humans. Our aim is to move towards 1:1 ratio in the next 4 years, so that Bengaluru can boast of at least 1 crore trees in total.
A key link in this initiative, is involving the children. This is a holistic initiative, as it takes into account, the strengths as well as limitations of the kids involved.
Green Certificate program (Urban children):
1. School going children, from class 5th onwards can be a part of this initiative
2. Each participating student is required to sow a seed – the seeds that have been selected are of trees which are of local origin and important to our ecosystem. The trees that have been selected are Tega, Honne, Matti, Tamarind, Neem, Shrigandha, Honge etc.
3. Adamya Chetana will be the key facilitator for this entire exercise.
4. The student on payment of a nominal value of Rs 25/- will be provided with a kit, containing good quality seeds of the aforesaid trees (8 seeds of 4 types), 2 kgs of soil well mixed with manure and an instruction note on do’s and don’t’s
5. The students would get the first hand experience of actually sowing a seed and get to see for themselves how it grows into a sapling
6. The participating students need to nurture this sapling for a period of 6 months
7. On successful completion of a 6 month nurturing period, these plants would be tagged to the student (who nurtured it), along with his/her details like name, gender, age, Aadhar number, to ensure unique mapping of these Trees
8. This sapling, then would be handed over to an organization, that will network with the rural children to take charge of the Plants and further activities.
9. The student, for having taken part in this green initiative, will be provided a “Green Certificate” that showcases her/his concern for the nature.
Green credit program (Rural Children)
1. The saplings nurtured initially in urban areas, will be brought to the villages
2. Each sapling, which is uniquely identified with a child in urban area, will also be tagged as a co-nurturer uniquely
3. The sapling will be tagged with its local as well as botanical name
4. On being planted in the village, an App, that is based on GPS / Google Maps, will uniquely identify each sapling with the geographical coordinates, along with the two children’s details (like Aadhar, name, gender, photo etc)
5. On successful completion of 5 years of nurturing, the rural child, gets a Green credit (not just a certificate), containing the following benefits:
- A special weightage in higher education / jobs for having a Green credit
- Scholarship to students for higher education, based on number of trees nurtured, from the “Carbon credit fund”, which can be closely linked to the Green Credit
6. Children can be encouraged to take more than one type of sapling and actually see them grow!! Nothing can be more satisfying than you being a part of the solution.
- Green cover at a faster pace, with higher concern for safety and growth of trees
- Sensitizing urban children in respect of the importance of trees.
- Providing an opportunity for rural children to gain scholarships etc. for their higher education while simultaneously building a green cover around their village.
- Trying to bridge the rural urban divide: as urban and rural students, become co-nurturers of the trees. Creating a future pool of “tree pals”, who can help each other to build a stronger India.
- Yearly visits by the urban student to the village to see the progress of “their tree”, can be facilitated using the App. This also can build a rapport between the urban child and his/her rural counterpart.
Swami Vishnumayandaji, Ramakrishna Math, Shivanahalli (Ragihalli Gram Panchayat) has blessed this initiative by being a part of the village side of the process.