It all began with setting up a Support Campaign titled “Plant, Protect and Promote Trees with Swechha”, something simple and effortless which can be done from the comfort of your home with just the click of a button, all in a bid to do ‘something’ for the environment. What I didn’t know was what I was getting into, which although equally simple in theory, requiring no skill, but was definitely not effortless.
My association with Swechha began almost a year ago, but I truly started being involved from the first plantation that I was a part of at a government school at Jhandewalan. Here, the enthusiasm of the high school kids was all the motivation that was required to complete the seemingly daunting task of planting 100 trees. What followed next was a herbal garden plantation at AADI (Action for Ability Development and Inclusion), an organisation devoted towards people with a disability, where too, we were assisted in preparing the land as well in the plantation of the herbs by these very same people. The most memorable of all the plantations was the most recent one which took place in Gurgaon, where about 10-15 people consisting of volunteers and Swechha employees planted 550 trees, thus creating a neighbourhood mini forest. As tiring as the task might sound, the plantation did not take much time and was the most enjoyable one out of all.
Although I couldn’t be a part of all the plantations under the Monsoon Wooding programme either due to one prior engagement or the other, but whichever plantations I did partake in were worth the time and the effort. In no way were these plantations easy. They did take up a lot of energy, leaving me exhausted upon reaching home. But I do not regret going to these even for a minute.
By being part of the Monsoon Wooding plantations, I got to be a part of something meaningful and significant. Who knew that by doing something as simple as planting trees I could give as well as gain so much. Not only did I give back to the environment and society, but also grew on a personal level. Now, I know how difficult the job of a farmer or a maali is, how difficult it is to till the land, or to even dig a 2 ft hole. Now, my appreciation for the work of the neighbourhood maali isn’t due to pity or a fellow feeling, but is borne out of true and genuine empathy.
-Akshita Rawat (Volunteer at Swechha)