For a greener tomorrow

Environment

American Physicist Albert Einstein’s words, “We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive,” must have been the inspiration for young minds at Vidya Vardhaka Engineering College (VVCE) who undertook a green drive in the city recently. ASPERA, the Entrepreneurship-Cell (E-Cell) of VVCE, recently distributed 300 saplings to the people in areas surrounding Vijayanagar. A group of 51 students registered with the E-cell to visit homes in the area on a Sunday and distribute the saplings.

Even though E-Cell has been constituted to encourage students develop business skills and business plans, the students undertook the initiative to improve awareness among people about the global warming.

So how did this all start? ASPERA E-leader and third semester mechanical engineering student, Swaraj Sarkar said, “A revenue generation programme was held during the last year when students were given Rs 50. Using the money, students had to increase their revenue in one-day.”

During that time, students came up with several ideas such as selling friendship bands and pens. However, the major revenue generator was that of selling saplings.

“The team that distributed plants generated nearly Rs 1,800 in one day,” Swaraj recalls. “We observed that people are generally interested in buying plants so we wanted to make it a bigger success without the intention of making profits. The common outlook is to do something to make profits. But we wanted to do something different to show that students also care about the society,” he adds.

Later, the college approached the forest department to provide the saplings. ASPERA co-ordinator Mahanth J H said that the forest department readily agreed and handed over 300 saplings with five varieties of plants including Gulmohar, blueberry, Basavana Pada also known as Basak, Honge and Bugari.

After that there was no looking back for the enthusiastic lads of ASPERA. Eight teams — with six to seven members in each team — were created to distribute the saplings on a Sunday. And it does not stop at only distributing the saplings!

Mahanth remarked that students have collected the residential addresses of the persons who took the saplings. Students will visit the residences every week and collect information on the growth of the plants. Also feedback from the growers will be collected.

Welcome initiative

During the green drive, Mahanth recollected that while a few people were hesitant to accept the sapling, majority of the people welcomed the students and planted the saplings near their homes.  ASPERA member and lecturer at VVCE, Manjula says: “A few even asked more saplings. Some of them even wanted tree-guards to protect the saplings so that they can be well protected.”

With the semester exams fast approaching, Manjula says that the E-cell is planning to undertake a similar drive on a wider scale with support from the forest department during the next semester.

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