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Project GreenHands Video

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Desertification of Tamil Nadu is happening so rapidly Just in Northern Tamil Nadu, in the last 12 years, 4, perennial rivers have gone completely dry. These rivers have been running for thousands of years. In 12 years time, we finished them off! Whatever the global warming which has taken up the world's temperature by about half a degree centigrade, or close to 1 degree right now which has happened in the last 10 years, the southern peninsula of India is reaping the benefit. The excessive rains that you're seeing, it will continue to happen, because it's part of the global warming system. We're benefiting from it, but its benefit will not last too long. We're thrilled because we were dry and we're getting Excessive rains today. Right now you see Andhra Pradesh is like under water, right now. Shoosh! Huge, massive. Northern Karnataka, which never knew water, Gulbarga, 2 storey homes are under water right now in Gulbarga, and Bidar and other places. These are dry, dry places. They're receiving that much rainfall that they can't handle. If there is no enough vegetation, and too much heavy rain, it will take away all the top soil, and make the land completely useless. In Coimbatore city, ten years ago, if we went for a borewell, we were doing just 125 to 150 feet, and we struck good water. Today people are going 1400 feet. Tell me, do you know of a tree, which can drop its roots to 1400 feet to suck water for its own nourishment? Is there such a tree? This is not a joke. It will be a fool's paradise to just sit and watch this happening. It looks like we're existing here as if we're the last generation on this planet, which is very distressing. The next generation of people, our children if they look back at us they will look back at us with great animosity because if you leave a land, which is no good for anything, I've always wondered, why are people looking at Mars and Jupiter and Saturn, isn't it time we looked at this planet? Our well-being is rooted in this planet. Every moment of your life, what they exhale, we inhale what we exhale, they inhale. This a constant transaction. This is a constant partnership. This is a constant relationship that nobody can break. Nobody can afford to live without. So, our closest relative, is plant life. Our closest relatives are trees, and, if we nurture them, they definitely have been nurturing us always, we forgot this, and our sufferings have multiplied. Millions of trees are being cut down every year. Why can't we reverse this by planting millions of trees every year? If the number of trees in Tamil Nadu increases, minimum of 15 to 20 percent of chronic ailments will go down in this state, for sure. Just what you greed has become poison. What you eat is becoming poison, what you drink is becoming poison, slowly, where is the question of health? Where is the question of well-being? So, this is not an empty dream. This is a possibility. It is very much possible, if you bring 30 percent green cover to the country and to the planet, not everything will be solved, but we can slow down the process of degradation of what's happening. And environmental corrections cannot be done in a limited space of geography. It has to be handled globally, only then it will truly change. And, we hope, in the meantime more sensible leadership will come in the world where the necessary policy changes, necessary technology, and necessary changes in our lifestyles, will happen. At least we can give sufficient time for the planet to recover. If we make planet at least 30 percent green. As a part of this, we started this Project GreenHands, and we want to put back. Right now 17 percent green cover is there in Tamil Nadu. We want to put back 30 percent in 15 years' time. If we plant 114 million trees in the next five years it means that within fifteen years time, we will have 30 percent green cover. So as a part of this, October 15th, we're planting 700,000 trees on a single day, in 24 hours, using around 300,000 meditators and volunteers. In 7 districts, covering 54 cities, we're doing this in 1 single day, it's a Guinness record. But it being a record is not a pride. I would be really proud if somebody instantly breaks that record. But that's what is needed, you know? You make a record, that's not the thing. If everybody takes it up and breaks the record every day that's the thing that needs to happen. 114 million trees, you need to plant in five years time, and in 15 years you will have 30 percent green cover, which could be a saving grace. So putting back the green cover, this is not something one organisation can do. We're just hoping that we can bring the awareness and other people will take it up and do. - We're not giving large number of saplings to one individual. Each one of them is getting only 3 saplings, he's required to plant 2, and inspire a friend or a relative to plant 1 more. 2 is something that you can take care of. They're committed to take care of this for a minimum of 2 years. I'm very pleased to be participating in this project, I think its a very worthwhile project. To plant trees, which we need more of. (Tamil) The school might not be there, the students would have passed out, I might be here or not, but definitely the trees would be there. We did not think of breaking any records, as far as I'm concerned it's a shame that 700,000 is a record, because we have a population of 62 million people. Why only 700,000 trees? Last year they have planted 2000 plants in our area, and the growth rate is very good, and the survival rate is around 90 percent. don't you think it can be and it - - If we start the nurseries sometime in December, we will have the planting ready by May. When the rains begin, we can start planting for the next 6 to 8 months, and do this number, if everybody cooperates and moves large masses of people to make this happen. Over fifty percent of the rural children are malnourished right now. If we invest more, and plant fruit and medicinal trees, if more food comes from the trees, than from the crops, we're not only ensuring that land is preserved, but also ensuring the health of future generations. To plant 114 million trees we need about one dollar per tree. In the next five years, if you account for inflation, it may cost one point two dollars to plant a tree. At one point two dollars per tree, that means you need 140 million dollars to plant 114 million trees, which is nothing. If you look at the money we are spending on so many needless things, if you spend 140 million dollars over a period of five years within the next fifteen years we can raise the green cover to 30 percent. Land is preserved forever. Around 300,000 meditators & volunteers of Isha Foundation and the general public have responded in a huge way, and made this day long tree planting marathon into one huge success. If we can can increase these numbers, if this awareness spreads right across, educated or uneducated, rich or poor, capable or incapable, everybody is capable of planting one tree. So, I take this opportunity to request the industry, the business the administration and all the people concerned, especially the media because you are capable of moving the people. Thank you very much.

Video Details

Duration: 11 minutes and 24 seconds
Country: India
Language: English
License: All rights reserved
Producer: Isha Foundation
Director: Isha Foundation
Views: 33
Posted by: ishafoundation on Jul 11, 2010 Drawing extensively on community involvement and large-scale volunteer participation, Project GreenHands planted more than 25,000 trees in tsunami-devastated coastal areas of Tamil Nadu. In 2006, PGH volunteers planted 856,000 trees in just three days, securing the project a place in the Guinness World Book of Records. By the end of the 2008 planting season, PGH had planted a total of 7.1 million trees and introduced a newly designed model of agro-forestry among the farmer community. On June 5 2010, PGH was recognized by receiving India's top award for environment.

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