Rotary Club of Pune Sports City, a 28-year-old club with 65 Rotarians in RID 3131, has been implementing environment protection projects for over five years.
The club’s effort is making the Baner Hills, a hillock popular among trekkers, verdant and clean. It is an ongoing project and this year, along with the Vasundhara Abhiyan, an NGO that is focused on biodiversity conservation, and Finastra, an IT firm, 100 saplings were planted on the slopes of the hillock. “With the Vasundhara team guiding us, we planted the saplings in a scientific manner,” said club member Sandesh Savant. The process involved digging pits and enriching them with manure.
To ensure the saplings’ survival and growth into towering trees, a network of tree pits was strategically connected through continuous contour trenching, enabling efficient percolation and sharing of water.
Students from the NCL School in Pashan, a neighbouring locality, and Finastra employees volunteered for the greening drive along with the Rotarians and the Vasundhara team. The corporate, Finastra, sponsored the project cost of ₹63,000.
In another environment care initiative, the club gifted 30 smokeless chulhas, solar panels and torches to the Dhangar population residing in the hilly hamlets of Jadhavwadi and Morgaon, nestled amidst the grasslands of Saswad and Jejuri in the Purandar taluk in Pune. The Dhangars, a nomadic tribe, depend on these grasslands in their quest for fodder for their cattle. As they travel through these lands, they often pitch tents in the wilderness. With no access to electricity, the solar lamps provided by the club ward off darkness, ensuring their safety from attacks by wildlife. “Moreover, the smokeless chulhas have helped them replace the rugged hearth cooking model. It has brought comfort and safety to their daily cooking routines,” said Savant.
The Grasslands Trust, a Pune-based NGO, helped identify the beneficiaries and the club met the project cost of ₹95,000 from the interest accrued by the Pune Sports City Rotary Trust which was initiated by the late IPP Kennedy Samuel.