We often believe that we are too small and insignificant to bring a change, but here we go wrong – the biggest of battles are won with the first steps. One such group of citizens with passion to bring a change in the society is ‘iamgurgaon’. It gave me a platform to do something for our environment, something I really wanted to do.

Planting on 5th August was a great experience for me and I am glad that I responded to iamgurgaon’s call to volunteer for an initiative for tree plantation at the Aravali Bio Diversity Park (ABDP). The volunteers consisted of about 65 enthusiastic executives from COLT.

After assembling near the Green Room at ABDP around 9 am, all volunteers were taken to the site of plantation. Some chose to walk but some of us opted for the tractor-ride which was no less than a roller-coaster ride!

Upon reaching the site, we were divided in batches and briefed by the IAG member, Vasundhara. We were further divided into smaller batches for a demonstration by a gardener, who explained the steps to be followed and aspects to keep in mind for planting. We formed pairs with one volunteer from iamgurgaon, or a gardener, to assist us. Everything was well organized – holes were dug keeping the placement of trees in mind, manure and saplings (of native trees such as Chamrod and Pahadi Pepdi) were kept ready, water cans provided, and stones placed close at hand for using as margin to protect the roots from drying out in the extreme heat and prevent frost damage in winters. We started working in teams and divided work among ourselves. While one would mix the manure and soil at the base of the hole, the other would carefully remove the cover from the sapling, making sure to not dislodge the root ball. After placing the sapling in the hole, we put the soil back in the hole, covering at least 4-5 inches of the sapling and pressing the soil hard with our feet to give it a firm rooting. Then we put big stones around the plant while keeping half an inch distance from the stem. They were watered carefully avoiding the tender stem, instead pouring around the roots.

Our energy levels were touching the sky! What kept us going were the light conversations along with the work, some photography sessions and, of course, the feeling of giving back to the society in our little way! I don’t think I could have had a better beginning to my day – thanks to iamgurgaon!

 

By Vaishali Agrawal who volunteered with planting at Aravali Bio Diversity Park on August 5, 2016.

 

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