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Posted at: Oct 14, 2018, 1:44 AM; last updated: Oct 14, 2018, 1:44 AM (IST)

Region’s first food forest set up by students

Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, October 13

A patch of forest land lying vacant outside Hans Raj Mahila Maha Vidyalaya here is about to be turned into a verdant forest. Students of the college today planted the first food forest of the region, which will be called ‘Atulya Vatika’. Outside the college, a patch of land, which was hitherto overgrown with bushes and eucalyptus trees and was partly being used a garbage dump, has been cleaned and saplings of 450 trees have been planted.

Concerned over the felling of trees and buildings usurping empty lands, the college administration and staff have decided to plant a sustainable food forest on the land. Nurtured by college students, this land will remain an open public forest land, which the college is merely adopting for sustainable plantation, not owning.

Dean Innovation Ramnita Saini Sharda said: “We are simply following the UN goals of ‘Food for All’ and ‘Sustainable Development’.”

“We have beautified the land by planting herbs and fruit trees. It will have tulsi, desi gulab, moringa, papaya, amla and mango plantations, the saplings of which have been provided to us by the Forest Department. We expect the trees will create a unique biodeviersity and ecosystem and bring in birds and insects as well. We will be taking care of the trees for a year. While there is so much hype about smart cities, a city can’t be smart until it’s sustainable. We are open to adopting more such lands,” she said.

While Chaudhary Santokh Singh, MP, and Himanshu Jain, IAS, inaugurated the forest, set up by the students of the college, it was a joint venture of the HMV, the Jalandhar administration and the Forest Department. Purnima Beri, member, local managing committee, was the guest of honour. Extending a warm welcome to dignitaries, Dr Ajay Sareen apprised the gathering about the concept of the food forest. She said 470 tree saplings had been planted.

The MP congratulated the students and others fro the initiative. 

Himanshu Jain said it was an important step to return to biodiversity and a leap towards ‘Tandarust Punjab’. An amalgamation of medicinal and fruit trees would help in bringing about a positive change in the existing environment. He also suggested that each tree should be given the name of the student who had planted it. This was an initiative of the innovation cell of the college.


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