OUR PLANET’S ALARM IS GOING OFF, AND IT IS TIME TO WAKE UP AND TAKE ACTION
Remember last month when Cyclone Tauktae wreaked havoc in the coastal regions of Dakshina Kannada District? And social media was flooded (pun intended) with pictures of houses and other buildings being swallowed by the sea in and around Someshwar and Ullal beaches. Sad as it was, experts suggest this is just the beginning. Trees everywhere are being cut down to make space for construction of roads and buildings, creating an imbalance in the ecosystem.
The Government of India, with help of various organisations and state governments, has been putting a lot of effort towards reforestation. Despite several planting drives and reforestation initiatives, the total percentage of forest cover has decreased in the last 30 years as per a survey by the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change,
Govt of India. Therefore, it is imperative that grass root level organisations in all major cities support the government’s efforts by organising plating drives and awareness programs.
Ankuram360°, a volunteer based non-profit organisation in Mangalore, has been working towards empowering the community through awareness both in academic, and environmental / sustainability issues. Ankuram360°, since its inception in June 2019, has been actively organising workshops to provide the academic community with tools to better understand and teach subjects like physics, mathematics and languages to students in fun and exciting ways. Since last year, volunteers of Ankuram360° have been conducting beach cleaning drives in the city. The NGO has been actively planting saplings in and around the Ankuram Educational Trust office premises situated in the heart of the city on a monthly basis, with plans to expand the planting drive across various locations across the city once the lockdown restrictions are removed.
Keeping with United Nations theme ‘Ecosystem Restoration’ for this year’s World Environment Day celebrations on 5th June, Ankuram360° is organising a month-long planting and awareness campaign “Ecosystem Restoration Phase1: Each one, Teach one, Plant one” to be inaugurated on 10th July 2021. The theme of Phase 1 events shall be focused on encouraging the younger generation to take up gardening as a means to start restoring the greenery in their neighbourhood. Participation will be limited to 50 students below the age of 16 on a first come first serve basis.
The series includes hands-on sessions on starting a garden and maintaining it, identifying locally available medicinal plants and gardening troubleshooting divided into 5 sessions. The program will be inaugurated with a hands-on session by Mrs. Sindhu Serrao, Kokedama Entrepreneur, who will be teaching us the ‘5 things to know about gardening’ on July 10th followed by a session on ‘Potting mixture and manure’ by Mr. M. L. Sureshnath on July 11th,
Week 2 and week 3 sessions will touch up on topics ‘Planting and watering’ by Mrs. Anjali P. Bhat on July 18th and ‘Medicinal Plants’ by Dr. Arundeep M. on July 25th.
The program will culminate with a session on ‘Troubleshooting’ by all four resource persons. They say ‘Charity begins at home, but so does Ecosystem Restoration. It’s time that citizens young and old come together and join hands in this movement. It’s time we teach each other to take care of our surroundings. Come join us, so each one can teach one and plant one to make our city a greener, happier and healthier place to stay.