With Gra-tree-tude!

by Guest Blogger Dharma Raj Solanki

Hi there!

I wasn’t planning on writing to you until Sunday as usual but today being the first day of the year I have been feeling reflective, charged, and excited about the amazing stories I’ll get to explore and write about in 2020. That, and the fact that my Maa convinced me – like she always would since I was a kid – that if you do something on the first day of the year (read: study) you’ll do that all through the year (read: study more).

“No, Maa, I’m NOT falling for it anymore!” *goes back to typing*

And so I thought I’ll begin the year on a high (not the kind that some of you might have been since yesterday) and do a small deed to mark it: I decided to plant trees (still not the kind that some of you were/are on since yesterday). *Googles whether that-which-shall-not-be-named grows on plants or trees*

Now, tree plantation is one of the simplest acts of kindness that one can do, really. It can be done in a few basic steps:

  1. Buy a sapling
  2. Buy some mud
  3. Find a space to plant them or do it in a pot (no, still not going there)
  4. Regularly water them
  5. Occasionally apply pesticides
  6. Remind yourself that you had planted a sapling in the first place

Apart from the fact that most of us never reach step 6 or get there too late, it is a pretty simple thing to do, no?

This is also the problem with most tree-plantation programs that are organized by groups as a volunteering activity that there is very little thought/attention to what happens to it after you are gone.

Enter Grow-trees.

It is an organization that plants trees on your behalf and takes complete care of them. From identifying indigenous plants to getting permission on Govt. or community land to ensuring they will be protected to auditing their growth and maintenance, they do it all!

What is interesting is that they do it in areas which actually need them and do it in collaboration with local people (villagers or tribals) who are involved and are also, wait for it, पेड़ (Yes, this pun is the real reason why I  am writing this newsletter) for it. Thereby making it a useful source of income/livelihood for the workers and they also get to keep the fodder or fruits (of their labour, literally) from the trees.

They also give you a certificate to locate the trees you’ve planted and also an option to gift trees to celebrate special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries, as a gift for offering condolences, or even to offset your own carbon footprint on the Earth! So cool, no? Here’s the link if you want to know more about their methodology.

In order to follow what I am preaching and to express my gratitude to you all for everything that you do, I have paid for 20 trees to be planted in the cyclone Fani-affected area in Odisha. 

This new year, just like the trees, may our tribe continue to grow!

With love, service, and gratitude,
Dharmaraj

PS. Thanks to Pankhuri who shared about Grow-trees!
PPS. In order to share this newsletter or to subscribe to it, please click here.
PPPS. You can write to me at dharmarajvsolanki(at)gmail(dot)com.tinyletter

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