The journey began at a juvenile home in Saidabad; it is not often a place where one would choose their first event to take place. The place holds a special place in our hearts. Aditya, one of the co founders of the organization used to teach the children as a hobby and when we all had an opportunity to meet those wonderful kids; we decided to take our baby steps from here. With the co operation of management, staff and children alike, we organized our first event on June 1st 2008 which involved planting 30 saplings and involved some brilliant stage performances by these wonderful blessed children
The hard work and effort that went in to it is something which can’t be explained. A lot of information about planting a sapling was gathered from faculties in Osmania University and nursery owners. Each volunteer toiled hard to clear the land off the wild bushes, helping to dig the pits for the saplings, arranging the soil that was needed, resource management and above all managing finances. With a limited amount of money that we had pooled in from our pockets and well wishers, we had to make some tough choices. Getting a tree guard was turning out to be expensive and with limited amount of money we could either choose to buy saplings and other important things required for plantation or to buy the tree guards. Fortunately, the land was within a compound wall and it only very rarely happened that animals entered the premises and destroyed the plants. We had to make arrangements with management to try their best to overlook the plants in our absence.
The day started off with the Principal of the Juvenile home and Vijay Kumar from SAVE (NGO) planting the first sapling for us. Vijay Kumar helped us secure the saplings and gave us valuable information about plantation. The volunteers started planting the saplings in groups of four and within half an hour to one hour the plantation was completed. The very sight of green saplings replacing the wild bushes and stones was beautiful and it was worth the efforts. There were stage performances given by the children on the importance of trees and the role that nature plays around us. We also had a chance to share the reasons for the activity we did and discussed about how each one of them present in the room could make a difference. The children were given snacks to have by the end of the session and we had more people choosing to volunteer in our future activities.
Lead NGO/ plantation drive/K V School
With few of our group members attending the event organized by GHMC and Times of India over environmental issues, we had the opportunity to raise some significant questions regarding the green cover in the city. It was an informative session to be a part of and fortunately for us our efforts at the Juvenile home was recognized by Times of India on the environment day and we had the pleasure of meeting some well known activists in Hyderabad. Dr V.B.J Chilkani Rao was one such activist who was guiding force and whose knowledge helped us a lot with taking our next steps. We were chosen to be the lead NGO for Uppal region by GHMC as part of their 10 lakh plantation drive. It was not only our passion towards environment but the trust that GHMC and activists alike had put on us.
As part of the plantation drive, we had to mobilize labor and resources along with negotiating with the management of the different institutions to help us achieve the target set by GHMC. It was a test of our commitment towards our vision and in the process we met some great individuals who had immense knowledge of the field we were working on. We took the initiative of planting the saplings on a large scale at 5 different educational institutions.
The first of the plantation drive was at Kendraya Vidyalay School in Uppal on July 11th 2008. With the cooperation of the management, we were allowed to carry out the plantation in their premises. Volunteers from Vridhi and from other walks of life participated in plantation of the saplings. It was an increase in number of saplings compared to what had been done at the Juvenile home and required further more efforts as this time the responsibility of carrying out the plantation drive was bestowed upon us by the municipal corporation. Dr V.B.J Chilkani Rao also attended the event and guided us with his inputs. We thank KV school for giving us the opportunity to conduct the events at their premises.
Delhi Public School Plantation
Delhi Public School, Nacharam became the second school where we had the pleasure of working with the management of the school and the school children to plant nearly 500 saplings in their large sprawling campus. The day we did the plantation was perfect as it was on 15th August, the Independence Day of our great nation. School management, teachers, children, parents, guardians and several of our volunteers were present and our message was being passed on to parents and children alike. Dr Vani Mohan, IAS, Asst., Commissioner was the chief guest of the school for the Independence Day celebrations and since she was leading the plantation drive, it was a privilege to have her see the continuity of the plantation drive by Vridhi. It was amazing to see the management of the school, advising children to put their name on the saplings they were planting, to help them treat the saplings as one of their own, thereby creating a mindset that without plants and trees, we won’t have a better future and nature must be respected. We thank the volunteers for turning out in huge numbers from every corner of Hyderabad and some coming from another state to attend the event and be a valuable part of the awareness campaign. We also thank DPS, Nacharam for allowing us to conduct our event alongside their Independence Day celebrations.
Plantation at CBIT
The plantation drive was still ongoing with CBIT, Gandipet our next educational institution. Preeti and Laxmi, our volunteers who were pursuing their engineering course, led the event conducted within CBIT premises. It was amazing to see how the students of the respectable institution were showing great enthusiasm to be a part of the programme. The request for the event was made to the Director of the institution which was accepted by them and we thank CBIT and all its students who took part in the event.
Plantatation at Gitanjali School
Gitanjali School hosted our plantation event and we partnered with ADP & KFT to mutually carry out our events making it a new sort of experience. Raghu Maram from ADP who is also a part of Vridhi and Sandeep Reddy from KFT turned the day in to not only an informative one but also an enjoyable one. Like in other schools, we had a similar response with kids and teachers alike lending their hand towards plantation and learnt the importance of it.
On the other hand, KFT (Kids For Tigers) had organized the Green Audits program at the premises and the objective of the program was to bring awareness about Climate Change and to show the support to the 350 Organization. Students of the school explained about 350 org and the importance of Green Audits. We were also given an opportunity to present our views in the form of speech.