PDG Ganesh Bhat, RID 3170, recalls an incident at Yellapur near Karwar, Karnataka, where a young boy bitten by a snake was given herbal treatment by an 82-year-old man. “He simply plucked a leaf from his backyard and placed it on the spot in the boy’s leg where he was bitten.” Within few minutes, the boy was back on his feet; the old man did not charge a penny for the service. A surprised Bhat quizzed him about the leaf. The old man replied that if he disclosed its secret the effect will be lost. “I had to persuade him to reveal the herbal secret for the benefit of future generations,” says the PDG.
The old man asked Bhat to stay back for two more days with him. From curing a cough to an ulcer and treating a snake bite, the old man had close to 40 varieties of herbal plants right in his garden. “That inspired me to start a medicinal garden in Dharwad,” says Bhat. The Rotary Ayees Garden being nurtured to perpetuate the memory of his mother and mother-in-law has more than 160 medicinal shrubs and plants. The garden is maintained by the Walchandnagar Industries headed by Rtn Suresh Babu of RC Dharwad Central. The club will expand this garden under the leadership of its president Anand Nayak and secretary Karan Doddwad.
Rotarians from RC Pune Kothrud, RID 3131, are bombarding the village of Aarey, near Pune, with ‘green grenades’ aka seed bombs. “As the saying goes ek pathar, do aam (one stone, two mangoes), our effort to save the environment by walking around the village to throw the seed bombs is good not just for this place, but for our health too,” says Anuja Shah, the club’s Environment Avenue chair. The club members, along with their families, participated in the seed bombing activity which was cosponsored by Naata Foundation, an NGO. “The Annettes loved it and we are planning to do more seed bombing soon,” she adds.
In partnership with RC Mumbai and Naata Foundation, the club had earlier installed solar lamps in and outside every house in the village and also planted 5,000 fruit-bearing saplings. “The solar lamps help the villagers work extra hours and the children can study until late evening. The fruit trees will be an additional source of livelihood, while also restoring the green cover of the village,” she says.
Rotary Wheel Park
“Imagine taking a stroll in a lush green park in the middle of a concrete jungle. Not just fresh oxygen for the lungs and ecological balance for the city, but this will also be a grand public image initiative of our club. The park is being constructed in the shape of the Rotary Wheel,” says president Kshitij Choudhari, RC Aurangabad East, RID 3132.
On a request from the Sports Authority of India, the two-acre spacious park is coming up on the BAMU campus in Aurangabad where the club had already constructed two check dams in association with TRF. The monsoon has filled the dams over five times this year and this has improved the groundwater level in this area, he points out. This Rotary Wheel Park will be visible from a distance with its signature design, he says.
In the first phase, the club has planted native banyan, peepal and neem trees that have a lifespan of 500 years and laid out a 1,000 metre-jogging track.
Going green the new mantra
RC Ahmedgarh, RID 3090, implemented roadside plantation drives in the city. The club is roping in educational and private institutions to take the plantation drive forward and will felicitate students and staff members who pledge to adopt a sapling.
RCs Calcutta East Central and Calcutta Sun City, RID 3291, distributed flower and fruit-bearing saplings to 100 farmers of Rajarampur gram panchayat affected by Cyclone Amphan. The club was assisted by its RCC and Sonartori Women and Child Welfare Institution.
RC Ahmedabad Asmita, RID 3054, an all-women’s club, has planted 67,000 trees at a resort in the city.
RCs Bangalore Lakeside, Bangalore Central and RC Kolar, RID 3190, under project Vruksha Chetana, planted 410 mango tree saplings in the land of eight farmers. The club will plant fruit saplings over eight acres of land and estimates that this will increase the income of farmers by ₹80,000 annually.
RC Mayiladuthurai, RID 2981, launched a tree plantation drive at Parasalur Veerateeswarar temple in the presence of DG R Balaji Babu. The club will plant around 3,000 saplings at a cost of ₹1.25 lakh.
Along with the Interactors of Little Scholars School, RC Thanjavur South, RID 2981, planted over 50 saplings of Terminalia Mantaly, an exotic variety of trees, to enhance the look of the school campus at a cost of ₹1 lakh. The club also set up a drip irrigation unit for watering the saplings regularly.
To mark I-Day, RC Tirunelveli Town, RID 3212, planted saplings at the Sri Satya Sai Bala Gurukulam Matric School.