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Our work with the nomadic communities involves continuous travelling across Gujarat. At some point, we have been witness to the changing landscape across the countryside. Travelling through the parched regions we see thousands of acres of barren land waiting to be covered in green once again. To increase the green cover of the water-starved and drought-prone regions, VSSM initiated massive Tree Plantation campaign in some of the aridest regions it works.
Some salient features of this campaign are
- The entire campaign is carried out in partnership with the village leadership and panchayat. There is some contribution from the village in terms of sharing the
remuneration of the person appointed to take care of the planted trees. The village
body has to spare land to carry out the plantation and make provision for water. The
leadership will be responsible for the survival of each planted tree.
- Care will be taken to ensure that the trees selected are ones that can easily grow in
the region, ones that have always been around/native to the region, are shade-
giving, ones that birds prefer to perch and nest upon, flower well, bear fruits to
attract the birds and the bees. The trees that are planted these days do grow fast,
but birds do not prefer to build their nests on it. VSSM got in touch with Forest
Department for procuring tree saplings at no or low cost.
under plantation drive
VSSM launched the first phase of Tree Plantation Campaign in Banaskantha district where the organisation is already working on Participatory Water Management program. The groundwater levels in Banaskantha have gone down to as low as 1200 feet. It’s an alarming depth to fetch water from. The community too is looking forward to improving the status of water in their region.
Apart from this Tree Plantation also took place in some nomadic settlements of Ahmedabad, Surendranagar and Mehsana districts of Gujarat.
Below is the list of villages where the first phase of tree plantations took place in Banaskantha. A total of 13000 trees have been planted this year. This includes 9050 in other villages and 4000 peepal trees in Shirwada alone.
A tree plantation drive was also conducted around VSSM’s Head Office in Ahmedabad. The trees were planted by women living in Ramdevnagar Bavri settlement and the girls at Unnati Girls’ Hostel. Women at Ramdevnagar have formed a group called Bhavani Gang to eradicate the presence of Ganja and alcohol from the settlement. These women planted trees as part of stigma reduction from their settlement. The girls from Unnati Hostel have also taken responsibility to maintain one or two trees.