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Rajasthan women vow to nurture ‘green family’

Women planting saplings in Taranagar block on ‘World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought’. Photo: Special Arrangement  

Taking a pledge to treat the plants as “green members” of their families, 100 women each in 33 village panchayats of Taranagar block in Rajasthan’s Churu district planted a total of 5,100 saplings earlier this week to mark the ‘World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought’. The initiative was part of a unique Harit Marubhumi (green desert land) drive.

The campaign highlighted the crucial interconnection between humanity and nature, making the tree an inseparable part of the “family consciousness”, which in turn brings every issue related to plant, tree, leaves and the climate to the ecosystem for generating environmental sensitivity and empowerment.

All the panchayats in Taranagar block joined the drive and identified the land where the plantation drive could be taken up. Block Development Officer Sant Kumar Meena said the inaugural programme at Gajuwas panchayat witnessed the plantation of 251 saplings of desert species such as khejri, rohida, neem, ber and sheesham.

The women were also gifted with fruit-bearing saplings of lemon, guava, mulberry, jamun and pomegranate for planting them at home. At the plantation sites, which included government schools and panchayat land, the saplings were sown at a distance of 15 feet each to help them grow with enough space and sunlight.

The sarpanches of the panchayats and the women residing in the nearby areas owned up the responsibility of keeping the plants safe until they grow into trees, shrubs and perennial herbs.

UN award

Shyam Sunder Jyani, the recipient of this year’s Land for Life Award of the UN, guided the volunteers in preparing the soil, selecting the saplings and planting them with care. The UN Convention to Combat Desertification conferred the award on Mr. Jyani, an associate professor at Government Dungar College, Bikaner, in recognition of his contribution to promote “familial forestry”, relating the tree with the family. The award has put the spotlight on land restoration and conservation through exemplary efforts for improving the relationship of communities with nature.

More than 10 lakh families have joined the familial forestry campaign in 15,000 villages of western Rajasthan and over 25 lakh trees have been planted over the last 17 years. Mr. Jyani’s concept of institutional forest has executed sustainable forest management in educational institutions by involving students and local communities.

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Printable version | Jul 26, 2021 4:22:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/rajasthan-women-vow-to-nurture-green-family/article34862254.ece

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