Bhubaneswar: Heartfulness Institute (www.heartfulness.org), located at Kanha Shantivanam, Hyderabad, announced that it has successfully completed a milestone of translocating over 1,000 trees in just over a year, with the replantation of the latest batch of 120 trees– coconut trees aged around 15 years from Karur District, Tamil Nadu. Sixty trees in the recent batch arrived Kanha Shanti Vanamon Saturday and the Heartfulness team successfully replanted them within the Shri Ram Chandra Mission premises in Kanha Shantivanam, Hyderabad. With this, the Heartfulness Institute achieves the rare distinction of having undertaken such a massive initiative of not just relocating but also nurturing the trees. Every year of the tree’s existence brings incremental benefits, by extending the longevity of the trees, andHeartfulness Institute preserves these benefits for the planet.
Commenting on the achievement, Kamlesh Patel, also known as Daaji, the fourth Global Guide of Heartfulness said, “Trees are the single most important assets on this planet. Their role and usefulness are beyond measure and most often our understanding. Apart from preservation of the planet itself in the physical sense, trees also exude spiritual qualities that help preserve and retain divinity and create the required balance on a different level. It is therefore important that the number of trees is increased,and more importantly existing trees are protected from being destroyed. One tree saved is equivalent to hundreds of them being planted.”
Relocation and replanting of mature trees is a very complex, technical and often costly process. Trees are mostly displaced because of development,and need to be very delicately handled to ensure their survival.The soil around the tree for a 4 to 5 feet diameter width and depth is first dug, then the roots are delicately cut, and the tree is loaded for transportationalong with a huge quantity of soil.
Retention of the soil around the tree is critical, and utmost care is taken during transportation to ensure that the soil does not come loose and the roots are not damaged. At the destination, the trees are then gently placed into a large prepared pit along with the original soil, and then allowed to graduallyacclimatise, under intense observation and care– including addition of root promoters and water retainers (hydrogel) –until the pit is covered up. This process takes 1 to 2 months if a tree is successfully transplanted.
At Heartfulness Institute, the ongoing Green Kanha initiative is continuously save these trees from destruction, as well as planting new ones on a large scale. The organisation is planning to work closely with governments, corporates and individuals to increase awareness of the cause as well as to contribute towards the effort. Says Daaji, “Only a collective effort can help reduce the risk we are in today of facing a dire situation due to the rapid destruction of green cover. Heartfulness Institute has made a significant beginning and we are hopeful over time that we will have more support from the state, corporations and individuals towards saving the trees.”
Every year,across the country millions of trees are cut, creating a huge ecological imbalance and with it increasedrisks to the existence of the planet. Indiscriminate cutting of trees leads to immeasurable ecological, social, cultural, aesthetic and financial loss. Various studies indicate that trees:
1. reduce air pollution: in 50 years one tree can remove 30 tons of pollutants from the air;
2. save energy: the net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-sized air conditioners operating 20 hours a day;
3. preserve life by providing a habitat forwildlife, butterflies and bees, leading to cross pollination; and
4. help immensely in managing storms, flooding and water recharging, amongmany other benefits.
Over the last three years, as part its focus to make the area totally self-sustainable,Heartfulness Institute has transformed the rocky, dry and arid land of Kanha ShantiVanam into a green space.Through relentless efforts, the tree count in the region has increased manifold, the variety of speciesmultiplied to encourage plant diversity, the ground water recharging capability increased by creating artificial ponds for rainwater harvesting, hive boxesinstalled to attract bees and help speed-up the cross pollination, andflowering plants have been included to attract butterflies. Along with these initiatives, for the first time in 120 years of the drought prone region, attracted good rainfall last year, benefiting the neighbouring villages as well. The aesthetics of the region is now more pleasing to the eye, birds come to the ponds, and there is also economic activity in the villages due to activities at Kanha ShantiVanam and the requirements of greening the space.