Samartha Bharata is organising the 3rd Phase of state-wide mega campaign on planting 1 crore saplings from June 5 to August 15, 2019 across the state. This major campaign of ecological conservation is supported by more than 600 reputed socially active NGOs of the state. An RSS Inspired organisation, Samartha Bharata is a Karnataka state level NGO which has been promoting social voluntarism among Youth.
The details of the campaign was provided in a press conference on 5th June which was attended by Trustees, state coordinators, conservationists and volunteers.
Need for the Campaign
Today’s major social concern is on global ecological and environmental issues which are affecting the living forms including mankind as a part of this Biosphere. Increasing Global warming, scarcity of available fresh water, heavy seasonal variations, imbalanced annual rain fall which results in drought in many areas, decreasing green cover (forest area) due to anthropocentric activities such as urbanization, habitat fragmentation etc. Rivers which are the sources of fresh water for livelihood of millions of people and animals, are now dried up. Once a fertile land, now is suffering a slow and steady desertification. Several international summits seriously discussed all these issues in a broader scale.
The National Forest policy says we need 33% of Forest area. As of 2010, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations estimates India’s forest cover to be about 68 million hectares, or 22% of the country’s area. The 2013 Forest Survey of India states its forest cover increased to 69.8 million hectares by 2012, per satellite measurements; this represents an increase of 5,871 square kilometers of forest cover in 2 years. The role of forests in the national economy and in ecology was further emphasized in the 1988 National Forest Policy, which focused on ensuring environmental stability, restoring the ecological balance, and preserving the remaining forests. In 1988, the Forest Conservation Act of 1980 was amended to facilitate stricter conservation measures. A new target was to increase the forest cover to 33% of India’s land area from the then-official estimate of 23%. In June 1990, the central government adopted resolutions that combined forest science with social forestry, that is, taking the socio-cultural traditions of the local people into.
The road-map and permanent solution for all the ecological and environmental issues is increasing the Green Cover of our mother earth. Hence this mega plantation drive is organised.
(L-R) Chaitanya Albur, Volunteer, Samartha Bharata , Malini Bhaskar, Trustee Samartha Bharata, Ganapati Hegade, State Coordinator of Abhiyan, Thyagaraja Kolara, Water Conversationist, Premananda Kodagu, Environmental Activist at the press conference.
About the Campaign
• Duration: From June 5th to August 15, 2019 (World Environment Day to Independence Day).
• Places: At the level of all Taluks of state. Planting will be done at appropriate places, suitable public bare places or open fields and also at private lands, with prior consent with respective persons and institutions.
• Selection of Plants: Plants which ecologically plays a significant role are selected for the sapling plantaion campaign. The species will vary from place to place based on local geography. As per suggestions by experts, few plants such as Acacia, Eucalyptus etc are excluded from this campaign.
• 3 Categories: Campaign will have 3 types for planting drive:
1.Direct planting of Sapling.
2. Direct use of Seeds for germination -Seedling
3. Throwing Seed Balls at suitable bare areas.
• Public Participation: From students to Techies, from street vendors to software professionals, Movie Personalities to Journalists, many are part of this major campaign of 1 crore sapling planting drive. Campaign is supported by several Schools, Colleges, NGOs, Corporate companies, local youth organisations, Temple trusts, Ecological forums and thousands of volunteers. Forest departments of both Central and State Government assured their full support to this huge campaign by providing saplings at district/zonal level. Ministry of Raliways also assured support by providing spots for planting on either sides of Railway tracks at specific areas in the state.
• Seed Ball Preparation workshops and camps is underway at many parts of the state in collaboration with like-minded NGOs.
• #SelfiewithPlant : Social Media platforms were effectively used for this campaign with Infographics and videos promoting the spirit of ecological conservation. “Selfie with Plant” is such a concept; any volunteer can upload his/her photo in Twitter or Facebook with a hashtag #SamarthaBharata.