At the Mata Jag Sundari temple in Kangra in Himachal Pradesh, “you will be greeted by the bright colours of the marigold, lily and tecoma flowers with the scent of medicinal and herbal plants overwhelming you. We have planted fruit-bearing trees and rudraksha and parijaat saplings too in tune with this sacred place,” says Sunil Dogra, president, RC Kangra, RID 3070.
The temple land, once barren, was converted into Rotary vatika (Rotary garden) attracting farmers in this rural belt. The farmers were also given saplings for planting in their fields, says Dogra who is delighted that their club’s initiative has gained traction on social media. “We roped in Rotary leaders and local officials in our green initiative by planting each tree in their names at the garden,” he says. The club named rudraksha and chinar saplings after (RIPE) Shekhar Metha, (PRIPs) Kalyan Banerjee, Rajendra Saboo and Binota Banerjee.
Recently, the club approached the Himachal Pradesh chief minister Jai Ram Thakur to showcase their green drive and the CM planted two saplings of the “Rotary tree’ at the secretariat. Under the club’s environment protection project, close to 300 saplings were planted at the temple garden at a cost of ₹2.25 lakh.
As part of its platinum jubilee celebrations, RC Gorakhpur, RID 3120, launched the Mera Gorakhpur-Green Gorakhpur with Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath kicking off the green initiative which aims at planting 12,000 saplings in the city and creating awareness on environment protection.
At the club’s sapling stalls put up at various parts of the city, around 900 locals have picked up over 7,300 saplings given free of cost. A Rotary Green Helpline (95553 38497) was set up and “anyone who wants to book a sapling in their name can call us,” says club president Arvind Vikram Chaudhary. The club is conducting essay-writing competitions for students from 22 schools on topics related to environment and hosted the Best Home Garden contest for homemakers to create awareness.
After Cylone Amphan left a trail of destruction in West Bengal, RC Calcutta Yuvis, RID 3291, has planted 4,500 saplings to replenish the green cover in Kolkata. The club has partnered with the Dakshin Barasat Gram Panchayat, the Royal Calcutta Golf Club and the Tollygunge Club to carry forward this plantation drive. “DG Sudip Mukherjee has been instrumental in forging this partnership and to honour him, we planted a sapling in his name at both the clubs,” says Dilip Chowdary, president, RC Calcutta Yuvis.
Spread across 100 acres, the golf course and Tollygunge Club have a rich heritage of trees which are over 100-years old. “We plan to restore some denuded trees and plant native species on the vast borders of these clubs with guidance from horticulturists,” says Chowdary.
Nearly 150 farmers from 10 villages have received 4,000 fruit-bearing and 500 flower-bearing saplings. These plants will provide economic benefits to the farmers, he says. In association with the gram panchayat, the club distributed 2,200 saplings to 20 remote villages.
RC Coimbatore Smart City, RID 3201, and Spark Round Table 323 have joined hands to create a green hub in this city. Under the project Hope Vanam, the club will be planting 30,000 trees in three phases. Together with locals, volunteers and Rotaractors, the club will take up this green drive which includes a number of local species at a total cost of ₹1 crore.
At Gandhidham, Gujarat, members of RC Gandhidham, RID 3054, are working on creating a Rotary Forest on 31 acres of land. In its first phase, land was cleared and 20,000 saplings were planted, following which a 60,000 litre-water tank was constructed for watering the saplings. Four borewells and a four-acre waterbody are being constructed. “The forest will go a long way in improving oxygen and water levels in the city, thus benefitting the locals,” says club president Ghela Ahir. The club has already spent ₹35 lakh for this project and the club has targeted a budget of ₹2.5 crore.
RC Chembur Mumbai, RID 3141, celebrated World Tree Plantation Day by planting 100 trees at a telecom factory in Mumbai. Members of RC Bikaner Aadhya, RID 3053, conducted a plantation drive at Norangdesar village near Bikaner. The saplings included 300 flower and fruit-bearing plants. RC Jabalpur South, RID 3261, planted 100 trees at Kanthora village near Jabalpur.