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| Last Updated:: 30/03/2016

Students convert barren land into mini forest




Vadodara: Amid serious concern over depleting green cover, students from Anand, Nadiad and Vidyanagar have created a forest of their own. The students have utilised about 2.5 acres to plant 25 different species of trees.

The students have been encouraged to plant trees under various ecology programs headed by city-based environmentalist Jothi Xavier. The mini forest has been named Prakruti farm.

The plantation initiative that began in 2008 has helped create a mini forest with over 700 trees in Vadtal .



Xavier began mobilizing students from the three cities under Ashadeep Human Development Centre's (AHDC) education initiative 'Ankur.' Students from 10 schools and colleges across the cities have contributed to this green initiative

"We began with workshops on farming but later realized that planting trees is a good way to sensitize young minds about the importance of environment conservation. Thousands of students from schools and colleges have visited the mini forest since 2008," said Xavier, who is also an artist.



The forest houses about 20 species of birds and 25 species of trees. Xavier who left AHDC, continues to work on creating awareness on ecological issues by taking students from the city to the forest to illustrate the importance of forestry.


Students from institutes like Sharda Vidya Mandir, Vidyanagar, JM Patel Institute of Social Work and Department of Social Work at Sardar Patel University, Vidyanagar has been planting trees at the forest.


"Conserving environment is the need of the hour. Instead of having elaborate seminars and presentations on ecology, planting trees can bring students closer to nature. I came here in 2010 as part of a development program and now I come here to see the trees grow," said Rajnikant Vaniya., 26, who has planted about 50 trees in the forest since 2010.



"The students have planted mangoes, chikoo, sandalwood and teak trees. We wanted more people to come forward and plant trees. They have limitless benefits and training children is the best way to encourage environment conservation," said Sunil Dabhi, a school principal who has been working on the forest for the last eight years.





Source:  The Times of India