Trees are indispensable for our survival. We rely on them for fuel, fodder, medicine, and innumerable other necessities. They make our planet conducive for life. According to a research published by Nature Climate Change, the world’s forests sequestered about twice as much carbon dioxide as they emitted between 2001 and 2019, thus playing a critical role in mitigating climate change. Therefore, keeping in mind the saying, van se vayu, vayu se aayu (air from forests, life from air), planting saplings is very important for conserving our environment.
The government has started many plantation schemes such as Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Account (CAMPA) to conduct massive tree plantation campaigns in both urban and rural areas.
The Himachal Pradesh Council for Science, Technology and Environment (HIMCOSTE) acts as the state nodal agency for the National Green Corps (NGC) programme. HIMCOSTE has been successfully implementing the
NGC by establishing 3,100 eco-clubs in schools and colleges across Himachal Pradesh. These clubs are involved in plantation campaigns, cleanliness drives, awareness programmes, water and energy conservation activities, and the beautification of school campuses, among other things.
In August 2022, HIMCOSTE organised, Ek ped mere school ke naam (A tree for my school)—a plantation campaign in eco-club schools of Himachal Pradesh. The campaign was started with the objective of planting 50 saplings in and around the campus of every eco-club school. The campaign involved teachers, the State Municipal Corporation (SMC), the Panchayat, the local community, etc., and saw massive participation. This resulted in the planting of approximately 26,106 plants of different species, such as peach, aloe vera, akarkara, arjun, neem, bel, balm, bamboo, jacaranda, bougainvillea, bottle brush, lemon grass, orange, geranium, deodar, persimmon, loquat, lehsunia, amaltas, hibiscus and others.
Keeping in mind the importance of practical knowledge along with the theoretical, schools and colleges collaborated with the SMC and the state forest department for the plantation campaigns. During the sessions, the eco-club incharges made students aware of the significance of trees in maintaining wildlife, biodiversity, soil quality and water bodies, in addition to providing oxygen and reducing the pollution in our atmosphere.