When most of the world is complaining
“What to do? Its not raining”
There is a self-motivated “Hariyali”, which says “Lets do it this way, it will start raining”.
It was an unplanned RAVI-var for me. Though I like social activities and like to be active participant whenever and wherever possible, I was not so much determined for any kind of social-eco-friendly activity on July 19th, 2009. India’s one of the most popular troop, “Hariyali”, under the guidance of Mr. Punamchandji Singavi, President of Hariyali, had planned “Plantation” work, in first half of the day, at Bhavale, about 25km from Thane, Mumbai. Just a day before, I decided to join these self driven society developers.
Starting from Andheri, I managed to reach at gathering point, Thane, at about 7:35am; 30min late than scheduled time-though I didn’t intend to. Mr. Singavi had told to one of the groups, (Mr. Vishal Singavi and the group) to wait for me to take me to plantation location. All 4 of us started from there and reached at “Vruksharopan” location, in about 30min. Mr. Expert/ Leader/ Guide – (Mr. P. U. Singavi) was explaining about Do’s and Don’ts of planting, to all the volunteers and participants.
Can anybody imagine what could have been the age group of Participants? It was from 6yr to 60yr! Such a wide range was convinced to be a part of mostly ignored, yet most important activity. Out of 3-4 groups which were going to participate, “Rotarians” started the day. They were about 30-40 in all, had come enthusiastically with spouse and children; equipped with stylish caps, goggles, attires, cameras, water bottles, carry bags, etc. These are all tangible things. Intangible and most valuable thing that they were carrying were their zeal and zest to respond positively to Social Responsibility!
We all started with a “Favda” in hand, shared between the two. Most of us had come for the first time at that site. We witnessed the fruits of intense efforts put in by “Hariyali” in the form dam constructed with manual efforts. It was filled up to 9ft height. Small pockets were created so that water accumulates and pores in soil to keep it fertile. Soil steps were created manually to make it easy for the nature lovers to climb up the hill.
Then, under the guidance of Mr. Bhide and few other committee members of this NGO, we reached to plantation spot. Each of us was carrying 2-3 samplings with us. Points were marked where we were suppose to plant the saplings. To be specific, we were supposed to dig at that particular point, about 1ft deep, plant that sapling and refill it properly. With all the instructions in mind, refreshed energy, weekend mood and happy thoughts, we all started our work.
Though the age group was so heterogeneous, everyone gelled very easily with each other. I could see help, cooperation, fun, childhood characteristics coming out of their soul; body language was speaking the language of healthy and lush mood.
Everyone started reaching to the point where sapling was to be planted and started work fast. In few minutes, one person shouted like a child, “Pahla ped lag gaya (first plant has been planted), maine lagaya (I did it)…”. Unsaid competition fueled the mood of enthusiasts. Then somebody knowing him responded mischievously, “Us ped pe apna naam aur mobile no. likh de, tere bachche tuze vahi dekh ke yaad karenge…” J
Somebody raised voice saying, “Yaar is ped ke saath mera ek photo lo”. Then whole family of this person stood near that plant and got clicked. I could see the value of that plant for that family at that moment. Otherwise do we really bother about thousands of plants we daily come across? To be honest, I don’t.
Mr. Bhide was encouraging everyone by giving direction and explaining right method of plantation. Mr. Singavi also came in between to enjoy the response of his initiative. Somebody built fort like structure near the plant with whatever stones and mud was available. To keep the identity intact, everyone was trying his/her best. Mixed meaning comments sometimes used to fetch attention of all the team members. (Of course it has to…J) It was a proof of 100% satisfaction that every soul was experiencing.
Then, few ladies took initiative of collective sapling carry bags to prevent soil pollution because of plastics. Somebody went to get more saplings to plant; few started supplying water bottles to those who asked for it. Meanwhile it started drizzling. Hardly anybody bothered to remove their raincoats, umbrellas from handbag. Everyone enjoyed shower of God’s blessings to mankind.
After about 1.5hr work, on an average at least 10 plants were planted by everyone. Rotarians had their group photographs. They Thanked initiatives of “Hariyali” and went for Tea. About 5 to 6 of us, continued our work for about 45min more and then we also left from that place.
Then we went to the dam to clean our “Favdas”. Members of PAWS (Plant and Animal Welfare Society) had come by that time. They started putting water snakes in the water preserved by that dam. Thus, everyone creature of the world was enjoying its life in its own way. After that we went to the shed made at some height. We could see beautiful scenery from there. It was mind blowing!
Then we also Thanked Mr. P. Singavi and left with peaceful, satisfactory mind. I shared highlights of the day with Papa, Mummy on tele-talk. Papa was extremely happy to see both –
- work done and level achieved by Mr. P. Singavi and “Hariyali”
- my attitude towards participation in such social activities.
Papa added that you need to understand the complete methodology of planning and implementation of such grand projects so that we can do it in Amravati, my native place. I was in turn happy to receive their appreciation and backing to my work.
In last 6 months of my tenure in Mumbai, this was my second RAVI-var dedicated to Society. I started thinking over it again and again-how can I contribute fixed amount of time towards development of society? Till now, I have failed to get the answer. Yet, I am happy because I had not wasted but invested my weekend. I had something to share that many people would be curious to hear!
Ravi Bhikchand. Achaliya