DHL Express empowers rural communities in drought-prone interior Maharashtra during COVID-19

A few months back, if we were to think of a scenario where countries are under lockdown with movement restricted, economies on a standstill and human lives in danger; it would be difficult to fathom such a scenario, wouldn’t it?

The recent onset of COVID-19 is a testimony of how quickly things can spiral down in a matter of weeks. As India, along with the world continues fight against this invisible enemy, we see rays of hope across the spectrum.

One such story of hope comes from the rural belt of Maharashtra. With the plantation of 55,000 trees, DHL Express has stepped up to support the rural communities, wildlife, and environment by the Morkhed village of Maharashtra in collaboration with Grow-Trees.com.

A survey by the Hindustan Times reported Osmanabad, and Yavatmal in Vidarbha are two of the worst affected districts in the state, in the last seven years. The study showed that 76% of farmers committed suicide due to a lack of income, which led to indebtedness. The depletion of forests has led to massive degradation of the groundwater table, while fluorides and other dissolved salts in drinking water have exceeded the safe limit. Thus, villagers are now prone to skeletal complications and dental diseases.

Tree plantation can have a multifaceted role in generating employment, increasing forest resources and water table levels and also cause a significant reduction in soil erosion.

Here are a few ways in which DHL’s contribution has helped create hope within the communities and led to positive, sustained social and environmental impact:

Employment to Tribal Communities: DHL’s contribution to planting 55,000 trees in Morkhed, Yavatmal, has led to the creation of over 4,000 workdays for the tribal communities (women being one of the key beneficiaries) as local communities earn wages from the upkeep of the saplings.

Sustained forest resources for Tribals: The local people depend on the forest resources such as fruits, vegetables, medicine and NTFPs with economic value. The project involves plantation of valued native trees, including Bamboo, Jackfruit, Drumstick, Neem, Jamun, Tamarind, Custard Apple, Karanj and Kashid which can be used for self-consumption or sold in nearby markets.

COVID-19 support for the tribal communities: Responding to the COVID-19 outbreak and consequent lockdown, has caused unprecedented mental stress and financial hardship amongst communities, especially in rural and backward areas.
Grow-Trees.com has reached out with modest support, distributing provisions for over 30,000 meals in the project areas supported by DHL Express. With extensive support from our regional planting teams and the village panchayat, 200 families were identified to provide dry ration which would, in turn, result in provisions that would suffice 20 days’ worth of meals for a family of 4.

Engaging employees – adapting sustainable gifting via Greet with Trees®: To have a single sapling, bouquet or even thicket of trees planted in your name means a lot to an individual and the environment. DHL Express has adopted a novel way of acknowledging their employee performances by dedicating the trees contributed by the company to its employees via eTreeCertificates® from Grow-Trees.com. This serves multiple advantages of employee engagement, positive social impact, enhancing company’s green footprint and making employees environmentally conscious.

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