Plantation and re-greening urban areas

Project Category : Re-greening my city

Project Location : Jodhpur

A person who plants at least one Neem, one Peepal, one Banyan trees, two Pomegranates, five mangoes, two oranges and ten flowering shrubs, including creepers, shall never go to hell

-Varah Purana

Nature is no commodity, planting trees is something everyone of us should do. Jodhpur is kind of a pilgrimage for people who wants to work for the protection of environment.

It is having dry parched lands,sand dunes,water harvesting structures like stepwells,and a peculiar climate.

It is land of saint Jambho Ji (15th century AD) who started Bishnoi Pantha and world’s first Environmental warrior lady Amrita Devi.In the year 1730 his highness maharaja Abhay Singh was in reign and he thought of building a palace,for that he wanted wood. He ordered his men to go to Khejarli (a village in Jodhpur) and cut all the trees and bring the wood. Kings men arrived there and started to cut down the trees at the same moment Amrita Devi was milking Chhachh (butter milk). Listening the sound of axe she came out and asked kings men -“What the hell you are doing?,it is not allowed to cut trees in our religion!”. She was lured by kings men in many ways offering certain bribes but she hugged the tree and didn’t move at all. King’s men warned that they will cut her neck as well with the tree, still she said “Sir Saante Roonkh Rahe To Bhi Sasto Jaan“(it’s cheaper to sacrifice one’s head than sacrificing a tree). Amrita Devi along with her three daughters Aasu,Bhagu & Ratni hugged around the Khejri trees (Prosopis cineraria).

Bishnoi Villagers hugging trees for save them

A minister of the king Girdhari Singh Bhandari ordered the King’s men to kill them and they axed Amrita Devi and her daughters as well.The news of sacrifice of Amrita Devi spread all over and people kept hugging around the trees and king’s men kept cutting the trees and humans both; 363 people sacrificed their lives. How  humanity can forget such a sacrifice. Now we have the duty to venerate their sacrifice and preserve the trees as well as plant new ones.

We started at 2013 planting trees at gardens and road sides and also through seed balls throwing in vacant lots. Recently we are trying to plant indigenous trees in the Mandore hills which is kind of a tricky thing to do because of the rocky surface.

We planted around 500 trees over the ridge of a busy road in Jodhpur. It was a difficult task as there was not enough water and we have to water the plants with buckets only over a length of 1.5 km.

Watering the plants with buckets along Sardarpura C road, Jodhpur

Volunteers planting trees on the ridge of busy road Jodhpur

Every night during the hot summer season the plants were watered by Grow volunteers

We needed a lot of resources like 200 special tree guards, private water tankers when there was extreme shortage of water. Replanting the dead plants, especially because of pollution and air-conditioning in the cars, the temperatures surrounding the traffic signal raises nearly 55 ºC, then plants can’t cope with.

We are happy that these plants are now thriving and turning into big trees,still we have to take care of them as temperatures in the summer here can rise to any extent and hot winds can burn the trees. Every summer and monsoon season we lead a plantation.

We are planning to plant 500 trees this monsoon and also planting Raat ki Rani (queen of night) on the road side so people passing by would enjoy the sweet fragrance. 

Please make a donation to help this project more effective, we need to buy more new plant trees as well as tools for digging the soil and also to provide more water facilities. Join us for plantation or watering this summer and monsoon season. Contact us for more details.

We are thankful to our volunteers especially Narendra Sharma for  achieving this.

Water plant volunteer team