This foundation is restoring trees uprooted in Bhubaneswar during cyclone Fani

By Think Change India|29th May 2019
Led by 35-year-old architect Shweta Agarwal, Unmukt Foundation’s The Green Army has so far restored more than 1,300 trees in Bhubaneswar. The team is also working with state officials.
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Earlier this month, as cyclone Fani battered the state of Odisha with wind speeds of around 200 km per hour, the state incurred loss to property worth over Rs 12,000 crore, as per some estimates.


Now, as the state government works its way to repair the damage, NGO Unmukt Foundation is working to restore uprooted trees through its Green Army Drive.


cyclone fani

The Green Army team working towards restoring the fallen trees (Image: Edex Live)




Over the last few weeks, the NGO, led by 35-year-old architect Shweta Agarwal, has been replanting uprooted trees. So far, it has successfully restored more than 1,300 trees in the Bhubaneswar. Speaking to Edexlive, she said,


“We gently straighten the tree and offer temporary support. Then, we cover the roots with soil and ensure there are not exposed. Then, we water the roots before replanting the tree.”


The Green Army group has 30 full-time volunteers, and several people – including from Navodaya Alumni Association of Odisha, and the Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology, have joined them.


The NGO is also working with the Forest Department to replant trees at Jagamara Road, Naveen Nivas Road, Airport Road, Master Canteen-PMG Square Road, and NALCO Chhak to Sainik School Road to name a few.


Cyclone Fani

Shweta Agarwal (Image: Edex Live)




Speaking on the restoration drive, Shweta said,


“Even if a massive replantation is conducted, it will take at least a decade to bring back Bhubaneswar’s lost green cover. So, it is very important to save as many trees as we can in the following weeks. Some of the trees that we have been restoring are three to four years old, while some are 10-15 years old,” reports Odisha Bytes.


Working between 6 am and 10 am, The Green Army is trying to make sure the trees are restored before their roots dry up. The team has also requested the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation to use the dry leaves and convert it into compost so that people do not burn the dry leaves.


Cyclone Fani

(Image: Edex Live)

The restoring drive will be on until May 30. Despite the organisation having many volunteers, the replantation drive experienced a manpower crunch. Speaking on behalf of The Green Army, a member said,


“We request the residents of Bhubaneswar to spend an hour or two on this work. If all of us take care of the restoration work in our neighbourhood, we will be able to restore at least a hundred thousand trees in the next two-three days. That’s  The Green Army we want to see.”



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