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In Punjab: World’s First Forest Created by Children

Gathering motivated school students from across Ludhiana, Punjab, IRS officer and ‘Green Man of India’ Rohit Mehra initiated the creation of micro forests or ‘oxygen chambers’ to heal mother nature.
Indian Masterminds Stories

Facing enormous crises like climate change, global warming, and lack of oxygen during the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic made all of us realize one thing – we need to conserve our environment and invest our efforts into it before it’s too late.

Understanding the importance of afforestation and its benefits, the ‘Green Man of India’, IRS Rohit Mehra, and his wife Mrs. Geetanjali Mehra have initiated the creation of ‘oxygen chambers’ with the help of young students in Ludhiana, Punjab.

In an exclusive conversation with Indian Masterminds, Mr. Mehra talked about the process and its success.

Children participating in making the micro forest

GREEN WARRIORS OF INDIA

A total of 10 students from different schools, between the ages of 8-15, who call themselves ‘Indian Green Warriors’ took part in the activity. Mr. Mehra mentored his wife and children and further talked to children of his family friends, motivating them to come forward and plant trees and saplings for a better future.

“Even their parents proactively agreed to send their kids outside for the plantation drive. The Covid lockdown has locked the children inside their homes and made usage of gadgets, a full-time thing. This activity provided them with a proper outlet to go outside and do something for their environment,” Mr. Mehra told Indian Masterminds.

The Green warriors of India

The young ones were so excited to take part in it, that some of them even contributed their personal savings to buy plants from the nursery.

The 10 Green warriors are Pratibha Sharma, Madhvi Sharma, Vaibhav Kapoor, Dhruv Mehra, Uday Mehra, Diya Bharara, Lavanya Sehgal, Viraansh Bharara, Nitya Bassi, and Dishita Bharara.

A video made by the students depicting the entire process of the day

FOR THE NATION

Since the kids were from different backgrounds and schools and could not get together physically to discuss about the plantation drive before the actual work begins, they decided to meet each other on a zoom meeting. In the meeting, they talked to each other about the drive, their requirements, and how they will go along the process.

“They realized that Covid19 showed them the lack of oxygen they have in their country which made them make up their minds to create an oxygen chamber in Ludhiana,” stated Mr. Mehra.

These kids wanted to give a message to the society that ‘We can be the game changers and torchbearers for the country.’

The children talked with each other on a zoom meeting

A FOREST BY THE KIDS, FOR THE KIDS

With the help of the Municipal Corporation and his association, the IRS officer selected a patch of land, which was initially a dump yard, and decided to convert that area into a micro forest.

“We designated tasks to everyone. Someone was assigned to take photographs and videos; someone had to dig holes in the ground, etc. We also assigned a rotational duty of all the kids and me to take care of the forest, water, and nurture them,” Mr. Mehra told Indian Masterminds.

The students planted trees with sheer determination

After further discussions regarding the distance to be left between each plant and other related aspects, the children were taken to the plant nursery wherein they learned about different plants and trees and how much care and maintenance they would require.

“We also learned how to make bags which will hold our saplings in them. We took them, filled them with soil, made space for the seed, and finally planted the seed in them which will soon thrive and grow into a beautiful sapling,” says Pratibha Sharma, a class 9 th student and Indian Green Warrior.

Their visit to the plant nursery

THE BIG DAY

On Sunday, 13 th June 2021, with the guidance of the ‘Green couple’, the kids set out to plant their saplings in the ground. They created a micro oxygen chamber in the Rakh Bagh of the city by planting 750 tree saplings over a 250 square yard section.

“With the enthusiasm of our fellow mates and volunteers, we planted more than 750 saplings of 36 species over a period of just two hours!” said an enthused Madhvi Sharma, a class 11th student, and Green Warrior.

They planted over 750 saplings

Over 60 native tree varieties of Punjab were planted in the micro forest. From mango, Gulmohar, Jamun, and neem, to hibiscus, these kids planted several different kinds of flora in the place.

Not just the flora, but the children also took care of the fauna and hung beautiful bird nests on the trees surrounding the area to stimulate movement of birds in the forest, which will also prove to be beneficial for the oxygen chamber.

They put up bird nests for the fauna of the region

LOOKING FORWARD TO MORE FORESTS

According to Mr. Mehra, this oxygen chamber is the World’s first forest that is entirely created by children. The children as well as he is looking forward to next Sunday, to create another micro forest in a different part of the city.

“We will create more such forests and involve more children in the deed which is why we have asked all the 10 children to bring their two friends along with them, for the next plantation drive,” Mr. Mehra told Indian Masterminds.

Mr. Mehra helping a young girl with the plantation

The activity did not just help in afforestation and conserving the environment but also gave first-hand knowledge and experience of plants and gardening to the children, who were otherwise clueless about these things.


Indian Masterminds Stories

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