miscellany - Increasing span of the green cover

miscellany - Increasing span of the green cover

miscellany - Increasing span of the green cover

Basavaraj Indura, a postgraduate in Social Work, wanted to practise what he has studied in theory. Hence, without pursuing a job in the city, he returned to his native, Aladakatti village in Kalaghatagi taluk of Dharwad district. He, along with like-minded people in the village, formed a team called Hasiru Geleyara Balaga in 2012. What began as a small team of 14 people, it now has over a hundred members.

The main objective of the team is to green the village by planting and nurturing saplings wherever possible. Once they do plantation in a particular area, they name it after great personalities like Mahatma Gandhi, Kuvempu or Salumarada Timmakka. The plantation drive has attracted the young and old alike. Along with college students, employees have also joined hands, making the effort more effective. So far, over 4,000 trees of different species like mango, coconut, teak and peepal have been planted in different areas of the village.

The team doesn’t stop at planting, it takes enough care to nurture the plants. The team members spend at least one hour every day tending to the plants. And on Sundays, they dedicate the entire day (from 7 am to 4 pm) for the purpose. This has increased the survival rate of plants here. Schools and colleges in the village and neighbouring places have also got involved in the process by greening up their premises.

Students of each school are given the responsibility of nurturing the plants, which they happily do. To make it more feasible, each student is given the charge of one plant. All these activities have been done on a voluntary basis and they haven’t taken funds from any government department for the purpose. To remote areas with plants, water is carried in pots on bikes or carts. Impressed by the enthusiasm of the team, some farmers are supplying water to the plants from borewells in their farms. Some even supply water through tractors.

Along with the plantation drive, the team has also taken up social causes like educating the girl child. To create awareness about the importance of education for girl children and convince parents regarding this, the team had organised a cycle jatha in the village. These activities have yielded result and many girl students have returned to schools. The team is also instrumental in organising children’s Grama Sabhas in the Gram Panchayats of the taluk. One more achievement of this team is in making Aladakatti, a alcohol-free village. This was realised through awareness programmes and strict regulations. Now if villagers buy alcohol from some other place and consume in the village they are fined Rs 250 and if anyone tries to sell alcohol in the village, he should pay a fine of Rs 500. Those who inform the team about such illegal activities are given an incentive of Rs 100.

The team has also worked hard to involve villagers and make Aladakatti a plastic-free zone. “Our aim is to create awareness about environment among people and develop a healthy ecosystem in the village. We also participate in programmes organised by people in other parts of the State and share our experiences,” says Basavaraj. He is happy that students are increasingly involved in these activities helping them spread the word. The work of this team has set a model for others.

(Translated by AP)

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