Social organisation Grow-Trees.com has been working for over 12 years to repair and replenish ecosystems across India and this year reached a massive milestone of over 10 million trees. On June 5, to mark the 50th anniversary of World Environment Day, they honoured celebrated actors Kajal Aggarwal and Pankaj Tripathi with tree plantation drives in Pench Tiger Reserve, Seoni (Madhya Pradesh) and Delhi.
Pankaj Tripathi and Kajal Aggarwal
Bikrant Tiwary, CEO of Grow-Trees.com, says, “We planted a forest and dedicated it to Pankaj Tripathi in the periphery of Pench Tiger Reserve, Ramtek, Maharashtra) after successfully planting over 300,000 trees in the adjoining villages of Kanha and Pench National Park. Our Green Ambassador Pankaj Tripathi has been following our work for a long time and also has a strong personal connection with the environment. Through this initiative, we also hope to highlight the fragmentation threat in the Kanha-Pench Corridor and to facilitate tiger movement between Kanha and Pench Tiger Reserves. We also planted a park in Delhi to honour Kajal Aggarwal and to bring attention to the capital’s disrupted urban ecosystem where air pollution levels have reached alarming proportions. We planted Neem (Azadirachta indica), Kadamb (Neolamarckia cadamba), Amaltas (Cassia fistula), Arjun (Terminalia arjuna), Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo), Jamun (Syzygium cumini L.), Pilkhan (Ficus virens) trees across Delhi and these will work as carbon sinks, expand the habitat for indigenous wildlife species and also improve the overall air quality.”
Bikrant Tiwary, CEO of Grow-Trees.com
Pankaj Tripathi says, “I feel so grateful that hundreds of these trees will help repair the fragmented corridors in the Pench Tiger Reserve, especially because without linkages, tiger populations are isolated within individual tiger reserves and face the risk of extinction. It was very interesting to find out that Grow-Trees.com also helps rural communities by not just engaging them in plantation efforts but also by preventing animal-human confrontations via the expansion of tiger habitats. The plantation of indigenous, local species like drumsticks, custard apple, neem, amla, shisham, jamun, also helps counter the current practice of monoculture plantation and increases biodiversity in Pench. I believe, a single seed can start a forest and one positive intention can spark a collective movement and I request all nature lovers to join Grow-Trees.com in donating and planting trees.”
Kajal Aggarwal adds, “This year’s theme for World Environment Day reminded us that we have ‘Only One Earth’ and we must do everything possible to protect it. I am honoured that Grow-Trees.com has recognised my love for trees and nature, chosen me as their Green Ambassador and planted in my name, a garden of trees in Delhi. I resonate with their mission of planting trees in cities, around wildlife sanctuaries, tribal belts and just about any area where ecological balance and biodiversity have been disturbed. I hope more people will join Grow-Trees.com to expand India’s green cover and plant trees whenever and wherever possible to not only nourish the earth but also generate livelihood opportunities for rural and tribal communities. You could also dedicate trees to your loved ones on special occasions.”
Bikrant concludes, “I recently read U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ message for World Environment Day where he said that we are asking too much of our planet to maintain ways of life that are unsustainable.” He added, “That it is vital to safeguard the richness and diversity of life on Earth, its ecosystems and its finite resources. This is our core mission at Grow-Trees.com, and for us every day is World Environment Day. We will continue to fight for our planet in the only manner we know. By planting more and more trees.”