Four Fantastic Tales, One Green Movement
Let’s dive into some heartwarming stories from the Green School Movement, an initiative started by Isha’s own homegrown Project GreenHands.
Here are some extraordinary stories of ordinary people that leave us inspired and demonstrate how a few ripples can bring about an ocean of change.
Planting 3000 Saplings on the Neighbor’s Terrace
Jeevanur High School is a rural school located about 60 kilometers away from the central parts of Viluppuram. Right from the time we conducted the Green School training program, the students were enthused and quite keen on starting a nursery in the school. However, things were not so straightforward.
With just a single building and no real infrastructure, the school terrace was the only place where the children could grow their saplings. And then there was another challenge - they had no access to the terrace as there was no staircase!
Not to be undone, the school authorities approached the adjoining house. They explained about the project and took permission from these neighbors to use their compound staircase to climb up to their house terrace. From there, the children could step into the terrace of their school building, every single day!
Remember what fun it was to climb over to neighbors’ terraces as children, just to trouble them or sneak a hanging fruit or two out from their garden? Only this time the kids were greeted with warm smiles!
While we had given them 2,000 pouches to plant saplings, the students went around and collected 1,000 more pouches, in the form of discarded milk and water packets. Together we planted local varieties of Pungan, Vembu, Iluppai and Manjal Kondrai saplings. A total of 3,000 saplings have been grown by the schoolchildren for the project this year.
All that climbing over neighbors’ terraces has brought in some unexpected results. The Government has promised to construct a new building for the school so that the children can grow more saplings.
The school plans to make sapling production a permanent activity in the school where the saplings grown by children will be distributed for greening the village.
2,500 Saplings Wrapped in Sarees and Love
20 kilometers from Viluppuram, Thalavanur School is located in a small and remote village. Building a nursery was a distant dream at the school which had no fencing or water facilities.
Valarmathi, a student from Grade 9 convinced her parents to offer the school a space in their farm, and manure and water to start the nursery. Old sarees were brought in by students and schoolteachers to fence the area, just like mothers wrapping their little ones. With abundant support from all sides, 2,500 pouches were filled and to everyone’s joy, the saplings soon sprouted!
Through this project, the school and the family both got to experience the joy of working selflessly for the greater good. It has motivated many more students to take up nursery activities in their houses.
Young Trailblazer Raises 200 Saplings, Single Handedly!
Meet budding environmentalist, Ayyanar, a Grade 12 student of Gandhi Higher Secondary School. Apart from participating in the nursery activities of his school, he started raising saplings in his home using milk packets and other discarded plastic pouches. Through his endeavor, he has grown 200 saplings in his house and villagers reach out to him if they want some for their homes.
Want to celebrate your birthday or anniversary in a green way? Get in touch with him to plant a sapling and watch it grow to its full glory!
Such is his burning passion to plant more trees, he even approached Swami Rabhya - the Green School Movement coordinator - to volunteer at Isha’s Project GreenHands nursery at Erode for a week. To fulfill his wish, we immediately made all the arrangements for him and he happily spent his time watering the plants, transplanting them and tending to the saplings.
The enthusiastic Ayyanar has committed to come back in a few days to spend more time at the nursery, something we all look forward to.
Shakti - The Force Behind 1,300 Saplings
Shakti and her friends are Grade 8 students of Saravanampakkam Higher Secondary School, Viluppuram and are a part of the NGC program. Together, they have raised more than 1,300 saplings in their school and distributed them to be planted all over the village.
When the project was introduced in the school, Shakti took the lead and collected various plastic pouches and planted seeds to raise 50 saplings in her home, inspiring all her friends to do the same. A bubbling and joyful child, now there is no stopping the relentless little eco-warrior. More power to you, Shakti.
Editor’s Note: Sadhguru’s initiative “Cauvery Calling” is an effort to bring back the Cauvery river to its full glory by planting trees, an activity that has been scientifically proven to help augment the river. Click here to plant trees.