August 10, 2019
Ever- rising air pollution, dwindling climatic conditions, frequent and intense disasters, deepening water crisis, expansive soil degradation, massive animal extinction; all these and many other environmental issues stain the life canvas of earth today. Each and every determinant of environmental health is showing steep degradation. However, to turn this story of degradation around, single most important solution that has the potential of rectifying each and every issue is TREES.
Restoring greenery in both the urban and rural landscapes, is viewed as the most sustainable and far- reaching solution by the scientific community. Reason being, a single tree beholds and sustains an entire ecosystem with it. Right from climate management to soil management and biodiversity management to health management, a tree is capable of managing it all. This might be a recent discovery for the modern scientists, however, Indian living systems and practices like worshipping trees and forest festivals were precisely build on this discovery done by ancient Indians, centuries ago. Moreover, Indian scriptures are filled with references reinforcing the importance of trees and forests for the well- being of life. Matsya purana goes up to comparing planting and rearing of one tree with 10 sons. Such was there relevance!
Furthering these pro- environmental values and affirming the importance of trees in current times, DJJS Nature Conservation Program- Sanrakshan, annually marks the traditional forest festival- Van Mahotsav extensively across DJJS network across India. Although traditionally Van Mahotsav is an annual week- long tree plantation festival, however, DJJS Sanrakshan celebrates it as a month long initiative to reiterate the importance of trees and encourage people to actively participate in the initiative.
Aligning the initiative with Guru Purnima, DJJS undertook a massive sapling distribution drive with a focus of greening the urban landscapes from 2 July- 10 Aug 2019. Air purifiers and medicinal herbs were distributed to DJJS associates who vowed to sow and nurture saplings in the protected environment of their homes. These sapling distribution drives were also aided with insightful lectures enlightening the target audience about the key role played by trees in fighting climate change and environmental crisis in general.
Here is a visual compilation of the activities undertaken by various DJJS branches.