A team in Manapparai is spreading hope through saplings

A group of youths of Sevalur area in Manapparai municipal limits have been converting every bit of the ward into a green area ensuring environmental protection and sensitising the masses to the importance of tree planting.

These youths numbering about 150 have been adopting a double-pronged strategy to plant saplings of shade-giving species and people-friendly trees.

Any neglected area where thorny bushes were grown was first cleaned and wherever possible drip irrigation equipment was set up. “We plant neem, vengai, pungan, vaagai, and tamarind species,” said R. Balasubramanian, a moving force in mobilising the youths in this noble act.

Not complacent with planting the saplings at public places, they monitor its proper growth and maintenance. “We have formed a special committee who, on a rotation basis, visit each and every area and ensure the saplings are properly watered and the drip irrigation equipment is carefully handled,” he says.

Another strategy

The volunteers attract the local residents by offering saplings as a birthday gift of each and every individual in the area. They collected the details on the date of birth of all the individuals in every family.

People readily accepted the nurseries, planted it, and carefully nurtured it, said M. Ponraj, a post-graduate in nursing and employed in a private hospital in the town.

On the World Environment Day last week, the youths planted 200 saplings in Sevalur and surrounding areas and set up tree guards to protect the saplings.

Manapparai is a dry region devoid of adequate green cover.

Sevalur ward has a vast area of unutilised land, major tanks, and thick vegetation with thorny bushes. The youths identified these places for their green project. They obtained the bulk seedlings from the Forest Department.

The volunteers efforts will go a long way in increasing the forest cover, thus protecting the surrounding environment and recharging the water table.