In the mid-February of this year, a piece of good news came for India. It is something that we may be proud of our country.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has found in its research that the earth is greener today than 20 years ago. The credit goes to two Asian countries India and China. NASA used high-resolution imagery through two satellites that provide very accurate information.
Good news for green thumbs: The world is a greener place than it was 20 years ago. 🌏 Data from @NASAEarth satellites shows that human activity in China and India dominate this greening of the planet, thanks to tree planting & agriculture. Get the data: https://t.co/8LRXR7xcpS pic.twitter.com/UlyXhzA9Uq
— NASA (@NASA) February 12, 2019
Published in the Journal Natural Sustainability, the report says that both countries carried out several ambitious forestation programmes. These programmes led to the significant greening of the earth. The report further says that India and China, collectively, contain only 9% of the earth’s land area, but count for one-third of the greening of the planet.
This finding is contrary to the general perception that the two most populous countries have over-exploited the earth for their economic benefit. So after this pleasant finding, we must be curious to know about the reforestation initiatives made in our country. Here are a few of them:
In the year 2016, eight lakh volunteers planted nearly 50 million trees in 24 hours in Kannauj, Uttar Pradesh. 80 different species of trees were planted along roads, railways and public places.
Just after one year, India made a world record of planting 66 million trees along the Narmada river, Madhya Pradesh in just 12 hours. In the same year, volunteers in the state of Maharashtra and Kerala sowed millions of trees.
V D Saklani, a freedom fighter and great environmentalist from Uttrakhand, spent 70 years of his life in planting lakhs of trees in the Himalayas. However, he remained anonymous throughout his life until he was given state honour at his funeral.
Jadav Payeng from Assam is popularly known as the “Forest Man of India”. He has spent 30 years of his life in planting trees along the Brahmaputra river and created a 550 hectare of forest. He has been honoured with Padma Shri Award in 2015.
Swami Prem Parivartan or Peepal Baba has been planting trees since the age of 11 years. He runs a trust namely “Give Me Trees” with 10,000 volunteers. It has a record of planting 20 million trees, including 1.25 peepal and neem trees across India.
Saalumarada Thimmakka, also known as “Mother of Trees”, planted 385 banyan and 8000 other trees in the state of Karnataka. The government of India conferred her with Padma Shri Award this year.
Besides these mass and individual initiatives, many organisations are spreading environmental awareness among students. “Green Yatra” is one of them. This organisation inculcates a sense of responsibility in the students of Maharashtra. Through the project, “Go Green Kids”, students have planted 30,000 trees across the state.
These are only a few examples. There would, certainly, be many more persons, organisations or trusts that are dedicated to such other environmental activities.
So, it is soothing to learn that there is a great sense of reforestation among our countrymen. And the search result of NASA validates it.