Hyderabad: Far from madding crowd, a village in Telangana has set an example of ecological sustainability by planting 80,000 saplings to combat pollution and protect the planet for future generations.
Located at the end of the Veldurthy Mandal forest belt, more than 80,000 saplings have been planted in Damarancha- Kongode village. Spread over 55 acres of the land, the nursery has been divided into five compartments to ensure proper growth of trees.
Five people have been nominated as caretakers. Four of them hail from Damarancha while as one belongs to Kongode. For the last two years, caretakers have been doubling up as gardeners and watchmen. From keeping animals at bay to removing wild grasses, the caretakers have been working hard to ensure that the trees have normal growth.
"We had planted these saplings two years ago by dividing the land into five compartments. Each one of us was given a separate compartment to look after. We have been working hard to keep cattle at bay,” said Vittal, one of the caretakers.
Such has been the popularity of villagers that they were awarded by the collector for environmental awareness in June 2019.
“We planted 8,000 saplings on five acres of land in Kongode village. More than 10 species of trees including Neem, Bamboo, Banyan and others have been planted,” said Satyanarayana Goud, Sarpanch of Kongode village.
In fact, the nursery came into limelight when Jagan Patimeedi, the social-media state co-coordinator, Hyderabad posted a video on Twitter. For him, it was a chance discovery. While driving towards a temple he saw a neatly done tree line alongside the road.
He was astonished to know that a group of men planted these saplings and even took care of them for years. Elated by this imitative, he appealed all the TRS party members to plant a sapling under the #EachonePlantone campaign, a call given by TRS working president, KTR, on the account of Chief Minister KCR's birthday.
Under the Haritahaaram initiative, around 230 crore saplings have been planted in the last 5 years. Under this initiative, the forest cover has increased to 33 per cent from 23 per cent.