'Green'vengers! Get ready for the biggest forest drive

We say the world is healing but reversing the damage humans have already caused is not th​​at simple and quick. We all are aware of the fact that how trees are being cut down in the name of development. Even in times of crisis, our failure to understand the side effects of harming nature is quite shocking. Well, if deforestation is something that bothers you, then you should be part of the month-long mega man-made forest drive that is all set to begin today (September 20 till October 20). The month-long event is organised by The Rotary District 3141 Club and The Tree Box Initiative. For the uninitiated, The Tree Box Initiative is a social organisation that has been involved in mass plantation activities for the past three years. The drive will see 200 professional farmers and 200 volunteers planting around two lakh native trees on 96-acres of land in Wada, Palghar.

The tree plantation drive is also an official attempt to qualify for ‘The World Book of Records’ by planting two lakh indigenous native varieties of trees in a day. The tree plantation drive is organised under the supervision of the local forest department authorities. The event will see farmers and volunteers planting trees such as neem, bamboo, jamun, saag, seabenia​ etc​.

You too can sponsor a tree!

You too can plant a sapling without even stepping out of your home. Talking about it, Harsh Vaidya, Founder at The Treebox Initiative says, “We have created a unique website especially during pandemic where without having to step out of your home one can grow a tree digitally. You just need to log in to our website www.eplantations.in. Our team shall plant a tree on your behalf and also share an image of the sapling when planted.” He also adds, “Each tree sapling which is at least 1 to 1.5 years old along with maintenance of it for the next two years will cost Rs 100 so every individual wanting to contribute a tree in the mega man-made forest can sponsor one tree by paying just Rs 100. However, anyone planting 101 trees will get a tax exemption under sec 80G and also receive a record-holder's certificate from the world record authorities for having contributed towards the drive.”

COVID safety measures

When asked about the safety measures for the event in the times of pandemic, Harsh says, “Since we have a massive area under cultivation, we have divided the entire stretch into different parts. We will have two village farmers and two volunteers working together in an acre of land ensuring social distancing norms.” He further adds, “We have already received about 2,500 requests to join us however we intend to only take 200 volunteers. We have plans to filter out volunteers by taking a primary test for COVID and only then take them along.” ​

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