In a mega greening project, RID 2981 planted saplings over one million sqft to create Miyawaki forests in a span of 101 days, with 119 Rotary clubs in the district participating. “This project is our maiden experience in raising Miyawaki forests. The clubs left no stone unturned in approaching land owners, institutions, campuses and organisations in fulfilling their mission,” said DG R Balaji Babu.
He recalled that the region, primarily an agricultural belt, was ravaged by hurricanes such as Gaja, Thane and the recent Nivar cyclone and “the environment suffered a great loss.” RC Thanjavur Big Temple planted saplings over 20,000 sqft at the Tamil University campus; RC Tiruvarur made use of the 80,000 sqft provided by the Tamil Nadu Central University; RC Thanjavur Chola did their best in 20,000 sqft at Periyar Mani Ammai University; and even the cremation ground was not left out as RC Nagapattinam Midtown cleared the wild growth to create a mini forest over 60,000 sqft.
All the 15 clubs in Kumbakonam jointly created mini forests over 50,000 sqft. RC Kuthalam approached the Thiruvaduthurai mutt and got 10,000 sqft; RC Mayiladuthurai Pride made use of 1.08 lakh sqft and the two clubs in Karaikal covered 36,000 sqft with green shoots.
Explaining the process of creating the forest, Babu said the earth was dug for three feet, then natural manure was mixed with the soil and the pit was refilled. “The sapling was planted in tract, followed by the construction of spike fencing for protection. Drip water irrigation is arranged through borewells. An agreement is signed for 33 years to provide protection to the plants,” he said.
People are allowed to plant saplings in the backyard of their homes in villages if the planting is done in quarter acres as the 52 acres surrounding area is bound to benefit. This activity is bound to benefit future generations, “just the way we are enjoying the labour of our forefathers,” said Babu.