I know its been ages that I have blogged. Hoping that I will keep up the spirit and blog continuously, I am gonna write something about that we did on Saturday - 9th June. My usual Saturday goes something like this - Wake up at 6:30 or 7:00, play with Pooja and Vicky, pay a visit to T.nagar and roam around. But last Saturday was something different.
I started at 8:00 from my home to the Isha Green Hands (Pasumai Puratchi) Nursery in Adambakkam.
The first time, I heard about this project was when I was in college - A mass tree planting marathon was held on October 17, 2006. It resulted in 852,587 saplings being planted in 6284 locations across 27 districts in the state, by over 256,289 volunteers in just one day, setting a Guinness World Record(Courtesy: Isha Yoga Site). My college also participated in this initiative and as a result, I planted one sapling near the hostel and put up a fence around it. Later, when I attended the Inner Engineering activity under Isha Yoga, I again came across this Green Hands project. I tried to start a activity for this project under ODC but couldn't as I didn't know how or whom to approach. But this time, Padma pushed us to start this activity. Along with the World Environment Day celebrations, this activity was kick started on 9th June.
We decided to come in IBM T-shirts and assemble near the nursery at 8:45. Bharath anna explained the first batch on how the nursery is functioning and allotted us the work. Padma and myself were in-charge of mixing the soil. We have to mix the red soil, normal soil and manure in 3:1:1 ratio. Soon, batches II and III were allotted with work. They had to separate the weaker ones from the fertile ones, fill the gap in the samplings by adding the soil mixture, sort them based of the size of plants grown. With the given instructions, everyone set out to work. Thanks to Mother Earth, we had a good climate as well. We has 2 more Isha volunteers who worked along with us and we discussed so many things about the nursery maintenance. The land for the nursery was sponsored by a volunteer, 2 volunteers each day come to water the plants before going to their office and on weekends there are dedicated volunteers who help in the maintenance of the nursery. These saplings are the distributed in the outskirts of Chennai and they get a committed group from the local community to look after them. At the end of the activity, we had a small presentation by the Isha volunteers followed by a feedback session.
We had lot of fun in the span of 4 hours. We saw few snails (I have never seen so big snails so far) and one or two frogs before our break at 11:00. We had some cakes, coffee bites, biscuits and lots of water during the break and continued our work. Suja akka prepared an energy drink for us after the break. Most of us had one cup, few had 2 cups and only 2 persons had infinite number of cups :-D. This is when we saw 4 snakes - 2 very small ones and 2 small ones (Baskar said one was a viper). Finally, if I don't tell about the mango story, then this blog would miss something. The house next to the nursery had so many mangoes. The Ripe Mangoes were so tempting and few of us had the opportunity to get one before leaving. :-D How we got the mangoes is still a mystery.
I headed home with a feeling that I have done something for the environment instead of just talking about it and committed that this will be continue in the coming weeks.