Jaipur, June 5
Unnoticed by the public, a tree ambulance in Jaipur has been working relentlessly for the last seven years to serve the needs of plants and trees.
As the world celebrates Environment Day on Saturday, the efforts taken by two people years ago are an inspiration for many and prove once again that even small steps count to bring a change in the climate.
Now, a group of over 100 volunteers, known as "Team 10" in Vidhyadhar Nagar area here, has planted about one lakh saplings and is taking care of about three lakh trees, without any financial assistance from the government.
"Though we are a registered society, we have not taken any funding from the government for the cause. My friend Gopal Verma and I started the initiative seven years ago, which has grown into a network of people ready to work to save the environment," Sushil Agarwal, a timber-merchant, told PTI.
"As more volunteers joined the group, I used my car as a tree ambulance to carry spades, a water tank, termite killer, manure, etc," he said.
Agarwal, 53, said he is working on his dream to make Vidhyadhar Nagar as one of the greenest and cleanest areas of the country.
"I have travelled to 34 countries and have noticed that India is far ahead of other countries, but people here lack civic sense. It is we who have to decide what we want to give to our future generations—a lot of money or a healthy environment to live in," he said.
The group registered as Arpan Lok Vikas Samiti bears about Rs 2 lakh monthly expense for taking care of trees spread in 10-11 square km area with the help of donors.
Agarwal said the team gathers at 5.45 am every single day at a selected location to carry out its activities for two to three hours.
He said activities are now not confined to planting and saving trees but cleanliness drive, wall beautification work are also carried out by them.
The team has put 500 cemented dustbins in the area and guarded trees to make their locality stand apart.
"It's not that we want to limit ourselves to a particular area. We are ready to help, but we need active people ready to work consistently," Agarwal said.
The team uses a clay pot irrigation system to save water as well as maintain moisture in trees.
"We use 16 to 17 water tankers every day to water trees. The clay pot technique helps in maintaining a seven-day supply to a tree, after which we fill it again. We use a drip irrigation system where we have a water connection facility," he said. — PTI
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