Here's how to gift a tree to a loved one

Since 2005, Janet Yegneshwaran founder of Reforest India (renamed from Trees for Free), an initiative of Rajanet Yegneswaran Charitable Trust, has been planting trees across Bengaluru. Janet started the trust in memory of her late husband Yegneswaran. She says instead of feeling despondent over tree felling, taking action is far better, and that has been her guiding principle for more than a decade.

Reforest India’s ongoing initiative is innovative: you can gift a tree to a loved one. All you have to do is go to their website, gift a tree for ₹300, dedicate it to a loved one and then a certificate will be sent with the person’s name.

“Think of what you can gift with that money — a bouquet, a memento or a bar of chocolate,” says Vinod Lal Heera Eshwer, author, eco warrior and trustee of Reforest India. “But gifting a tree is a living legacy. A tree is the only gift that reduces one’s carbon footprint; any other material gift increases it,” he says.

Janet says that though planting a tree is always welcome, she adds it doesn’t always work. “There is a method to planting a tree. A lot of times, free saplings are distributed to people. But those saplings aren’t always taken care of. Nurturing a sapling is the same as caring for a pet. What if there is no space to plant a tree?”

Vinod adds most people don’t have the time to plant trees. “That is why we came up with the idea of gifting a tree. Those who have the money, seldom have the time. So they prefer to give money.” However, he stresses there is a difference between gifting and donating. “Donation is sometimes done out of obligation. But when you gift a tree, it becomes personal, it becomes a celebration.”

Vinod adds that Reforest India is not into the numbers game. “There are stories of how people have planted thousands of trees. But the real question is the survival rate. Even if thousands of trees have been planted, how many thrive? That is why we believe that it is better to have one tree growing well rather than plant one million trees. We also conduct preliminary checks.”

Reforest India, Vinod says, is a transparent organisation. “When you gift a tree, you can be absolutely sure it will be planted.” Janet says they have planted trees not only in Bengaluru, but also in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. “We plant trees through the year since deforestation also happens through the year. Most people wake up on World Environment Day and say go green, but planting should be consistent,” says Vinod.

“In November 2018, Gaja Cyclone hit the coastal belt of Tamil Nadu. It wreaked havoc and more than 1 crore coconut trees were destroyed. We have received a request from an NGO in Tanjavur requesting for coconut saplings for 500 Delta farmer families who have been affected by Gaja Cyclone. We will be planting coconut trees there on August 31,” concludes Janet.


For details visit ReforestIndia.in.

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Printable version | Jul 26, 2022 9:24:29 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/trees-are-globally-cool/article29298956.ece