Embracing…
… my experiences in India

Planting Celebration!

I am very proud to be covering this event as a blogger, it’s really good news for the environmentalists; the project is simply blooming with positive action.

Project Green Hands is an ecological initiative of Isha Foundation with the aim of creating 10% additional green cover in Tamil Nadu (the heartland state of southern India). This means they are planting MILLIONS of tree saplings across the state with the help of thousands of volunteers.

On Sunday September 23rd 2007, there was a planting celebration to raise money, raise awareness and celebrate the amazing work done thus far.

I spoke to one of the volunteers who explained to me that the tree saplings not only need to be planted but also watered and protected. So to give these wondeful little tree saplings the best chance of survival they are planted in villages, schools and colleges where they will be fed and nurtured to adulthood.

This community project is great in so many ways:

  • It makes tree planting and cultivation part of the local community’s culture
  • It supports sustainable living
  • It enhances the quality of life for the local population
  • It reduces global warming
  • It promotes rainwater retention in the soil
  • It provides a habitat for plants animals
  • It brings people together

I was certainly motivated to make a donation to this amazing project. When I did so I was given two green ribbons. One for my wrist and one for a tree which stood behind me. Tying the ribbon on the tree represented greening the tree, greening Tamil Nadu and greening the earth. Feel good factor 110%!

ribbon-tree.jpg

As I wondered around the festival site, I found people working together, happily and with a common goal. It was a pleasure to witness. I often feel totally overwhelmed by the destruction the planet that I see going on everyday, visiting the Planting Celebration gave me hope and motivation to be involved in taking some positive action. Turn my despair into joy!

My only heart-sinking moment was seeing the corporate sponsorship:

coke-1.jpg

That’s pure bullshit and we all know it.

Do you call the depletion of ground water in Kerala by Coca-Cola “adding a few drops of joy”? More like “adding a few drops of toxicity”.

Anyway, KEEP IT POSITIVE Stottpot!

There are many ways to help with Project Green Hands and their incredible efforts, so check out the website to find out how YOU can contribute.

I’m motivated, how about you?

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13 Responses to “Planting Celebration!”

  1. Excellent coverage!
    Oozes out optimism especially in the context of earlier posts where you mentioned about depressive state of affairs and groundlessness.
    On coke, can anything happen without inclusiveness?

    Did you get info on tree plantings nearby where you live?

  2. Interesting post. I attended the festival too and was similarly inspired. I liked the holistic approach of Project Greenhands. Their yoga and meditation was connected very directly to making a direct and positive difference to the world around them – not only do they plant A LOT of trees, they also run mobile health clinics and a rural school. They seem to have a heartfelt commitment to the people of Tamil Nadu.

    There can be an unhelpful fatalistic streak in spirituality and meditation that I really don’t like: This streak has its roots in the notion that difficult situations in life need not prevent us from connecting to the essence of life, we can rise above them. This is all well and good – and at times, it can be a very helpful principle, if one is truly in a position of helplessness – but it shouldn’t be used as an excuse to not engage with issues of justice in the world around us.

    It was very pleasing to encounter a truly engaged spirituality at this festival. My first impressions are certainly that the Isha Foundation and Project Greenhands are a powerful force for good.

  3. ‘Can anything happen without inclusiveness?’
    Interesting question, I’m sceptical about Cokes involvment with Isha Foundation. My assumption is that Coke is involved as a token gesture for good Public Relations.
    I’d like to see them do A LOT MORE. I see them simply piggy backing on someone else’s wholesome, genuine and ethical work.

    As for getting involved, I have registered via PGH website to help out with their work in/around Chennai. As with many intial registration/e-mail, this may require follow up phonecalls, let’s see.

  4. Stottpot,
    Thanks looks like a brilliant idea. How do they plan to keep these saplings irrigated? because if I am not mistaken that region can be quite dry!
    winslie

  5. Winslie,

    You are not mistaken!
    With the current rate of land degredation, experts predict that by 2025, 60% of Tamil Nadu will be a desert… therefore, these lovely little sappling suckers need to be irrigated all their lives.

    Thats why they are planted in communities like villages, schools and colleges so the inhanbitants can nurture them through the droughts, floods and whatever else the weather has in store…

    Are you planning to get involved?

  6. You guys are doing a great job, think about spreading the work to other states as well, cos overall India is terribly affected by pollution

  7. Yes, is the simple answer, every little helps!

    It should also be publicized in schools and an awareness program relating to the life of these plants would keep all involved a bit more responsible for their maintenance.

    As humans we have a tendency for great concepts but it’s the follow through on the long-term that counts.

    Thanks for the quick response!

  8. […] Links: Stottpot has an interesting coverage of the Launch Ashoka.Org – Intervention through Entrepreneurship. . Jaggi Vasude’v World Economic Forum […]

  9. thanks to all of you for lovely comments about Project GreenHands. We are all convinced about the need of such project so please join us. How? either you live in Tamil Nadu and you can join a team close to your place,and it’s planting season until december so all hands are welcome. Or you live outside Tamil Nadu and you can talk about the project, let people know what we are doing, let us know whether you can help us to access any financial support or organise yourself a fundraising events. In few weeks we will also release a new web site full of idea for getting involved. Check it out !

  10. Hi,
    I’ve had a false start on volunteering with Project Green Hands, I contacted one guy who was focussed on one aspect of volunteering that didn’t suit me. He wanted me to plant saplings in my locality, but I already live on a green campus… I asked if there was any other ways to help, but no response.
    Since then i have contacted Deepak Kumaran via his blog, so fingers crossed.

    Can anyone else help me get involved?!?!?!
    Kate

  11. Hi Kate,

    It is not only the place you live in but covers the entire state but not limited to only Tamil Nadu. We a group of volunteers are planning to start (atleast in a small level) in Karnataka to create initial awareness.

    Contribution can be either through financial donation or creating awareness in your locality or you can start planting in your known area

    hope this answers your query.

    regards,
    ganapathy g.

  12. Anybody intersted to join hands to start in bangalore or in karnataka can do a posting in this blog.

  13. […] Planting Celebration! By stottpot Project Green Hands is an ecological initiative of Isha Foundation with the aim of creating 10% additional green cover in Tamil Nadu (the heartland state of southern India). This means they are planting MILLIONS of tree saplings across … Embracing… – https://stottpot.wordpress.com […]


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