This village plants trees to mark births and deaths; tackles drought in Maharashtra
PT Shinde, a retired school teacher, embarked on an initiative in 2003 to make Maharashtra water sufficient. When he started the tree plantation drive, many villagers in Ranmala were apprehensive about it. Fifteen years later, today, the village is a torch bearer to the state government's tree plantation drive. From July 1 to July 31, nearly 13 crore saplings will be planted across the state.
Ranmala, a quaint village in Khed Taluk of Maharashtra, which up till a few years ago was a drought-hit area, is water sufficient today. When Shinde introduced his model, he called it as a dedication to all the lives that enter and leave the planet. He also motivated every family to celebrate this experience by nurturing the sapling over the years, thus increasing the longevity. The state government was so impressed by his idea, that it has now asked all gram panchayats and municipal councils to adopt it.
"We found this idea working very well in the village. If there was a birth in anyone's house, they would be gifted a sapling- 'Janm Vruksha' (birth tree). Similarly, for a death in a family, a 'Smruti Vruksha' (tree of remembrance), 'Maherichi Zhadi' or 'Shubh Mangal Vruksha' (auspicious tree) for weddings, and 'Anand Vruksha' was given for special occasions," says Vikas Kharge, principal secretary of the forest department, to the Times Of India.
In the last 15 years, the village has planted nearly two lakh saplings in and around the village.
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For the upcoming plantation drive by the Maharashtra government, which will commence from July 1st and will be extended till July 31st, the authorities are giving away saplings to families. They have also decided to provide the villagers with a nameplate, so that each sapling is named over a newborn or the lost one. These plants will also be geo-tagged, says The Better India.