Green, Greener, Greenest: Chhayani

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Dateline Almora. Braving the torrential monsoon downpour, women folk from the village of Chhayani, Block Syaldey, Almora came out in full strength to plant five hundred  and fifty one tree saplings on the occasion of Harela.

Continuing the annual tradition, these smiling faces did not mind getting their hand and clothes dirty planting indigenous tree saplings of Oak, Rhododendron, Bamboo, Ringaal, Deodar, Banyan along with ReethaNeem, Kaafal, Jamun, Bay Leaf in and around the village periphery.

The idea was simple. Plant cash crop trees so that it becomes a sustainable and self-reliant model for villagers as well as trees that would help in replenishing the slowly disappearing natural springs or naulas around Chhayani.

Speaking to Newspost, Dev Bhandari, one amongst the many team members of DNCR said, “It’s a humble offering that will definitely have a ripple effect of benefit for the coming generations. 2019 plantation drive saw a survival rate of 70% saplings. We used the left over funds collected from residents of the village working in Delhi and NCR  last year to plant more trees this season.

The DNCR team led by Devi Singh Rawat, a village elder, along with young men from Chhayani working in Delhi NCR not only worked on the outline of the tree plantation drive, but also collected funds and coordinated with family back home imploring them to do their bit. At the village level, Sarpanch Shrimati Anandi Devi along with the village-folks did their best to deliver the project on ground. A nominal sum was also handed out to those who went about digging holes for the saplings to be planted in.

The DNCR team is now working towards planting close to a thousand trees in the 2021 monsoon season.

He who plants a tree, plants hope. And in these troubled times of COVID-19, vowing to plant and more importantly to nurture a tree is what we all need to re-learn.