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Meet capital’s green crusaders

A group has planted around 5,600 saplings in and around Ranchi in less than six months since June

By Achintya Ganguly in Ranchi

  • Published 19.11.19, 2:07 AM
  • Updated 19.11.19, 2:07 AM
Members of The Team Green at Ormanjhi near Ranchi on Sunday.
Members of The Team Green at Ormanjhi near Ranchi on Sunday. Telegraph picture

Go green before the green goes. With that catchy slogan, a small group of young businessmen and professionals have motivated others, mostly students, to volunteer to plant trees in and around the state capital.

The group has planted around 5,600 saplings in and around Ranchi in less than six months since June, when the members registered their non-governmental organisation, The Team Green.

The group undertakes its drive on Sundays. This Sunday, they planted saplings at a place near Ormanjhi, around 30km from Ranchi.

“When everybody expressed concern about depleting forest cover and deteriorating environment, we thought of doing our bit by planting saplings,” said Nipun Jain, 25, a businessman who deals in garments.

He approached others when friends like Rahul Dayal, a tax consultant, and some other professionals joined him to form the team that finally started planting trees in June.

“We started doing it at Morabadi grounds within the city and then went on to do it on campuses of different schools and colleges when some students, including girls, joined us as volunteers,” Jain said. They started with nearby places like Nagri.

The team now has around 100 volunteers, mostly students from local colleges and universities, of which around 30 are women. “On Sunday we planted 111 saplings at a space close to a farmhouse at Ormanjhi; around 35 volunteers were with us,” Jain said.

“We have a group on a social media platform where we inform the members about the place where the next drive will be held.”

Volunteers who are free on that day join the team. They go on exploring places and inform the volunteers whenever a venue is fixed, Jain added.

“Some of the members bring cars and some others their two-wheelers at the meeting point so the group can easily move to nearby places,” he added. They plant saplings for around three-and-half hours and disperse after having light refreshments together.

“We keep record of our drives and have done 36 so far, planting 5,590 saplings in and around Ranchi and even in Khunti,” Jain said.

They mostly planted the saplings in secured campuses like those of educational institutions or walled plots owned by known persons, he said when asked if they kept track of survival of those saplings. Often, saplings planted die off for lack of care.

“We also revisit those places at certain intervals for caring of those saplings,” Jain said, adding their intention was not to just plant saplings in increased numbers but also to see those grow into trees.

They buy saplings from the nursery of the state forest department and also sometimes from private nurseries, Jain said.

The members contribute from their own pockets for the drives.

“We haven't received any fund, grant or donation from any organisation except from among our members and well-wishers,” Jain replied when asked about funding.

They also sell saplings attractive paper bags and that also helps them raise funds, Jain said.

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