Posted by: miilee | February 19, 2010


“HEY PARENTS! Please don’t mess up our planet, We have to live in it” her little blue T-shirt told the world. Honestly, I’d forgotten just how cute and lively little children are. She was the epitome of ‘lively’. I haven’t seen such sparkling little eyes in a long time now….

A few days ago, I’d learnt from a friend of The Sapling Project and as would be expected of me, I signed up. So I went to Shivaji Park, Dadar. Within minutes of my arrival, a taxi halted there, sporting little saplings everywhere that it could hold them. The boot was full and the top too was overflowing with the neem and ashok tree saplings. I couldn’t help smiling as one of the organizers, Satish, stepped out of the cab. We introduced ourselves and were shortly joined by others who supported the campaign. The Idea was simple; Give out saplings to people who would like to take them so that they could plant them and take care of them in a place convenient to them. So if say, a 10,000 people take away these saplings this year, ten years down the line, we’ll have those many more trees in the city.

Just as all the plants were unloaded and people had just about smiled at each other, Ranjeet, the other organizer and wife and daughter arrived. Somehow, I don’t recall having met a child with as much effervescent energy as the child, Manasvi had. For one, she had an infectious gleam in her eye and an endearing grin on her face.

And from the word go, she wanted to plant a sapling. Well, we were on the side walk, giving away the infant trees with instructions on what needs to be done and explaining the project to people etc. But with a persistence characteristic only of children, Manasvi wouldn’t stop badgering both her parents, insisting that she wanted to plant a tree right away! With that T-shirt message and all her ‘gardening tools’ She looked the image of an ‘Earth Warrior’ if anything. So I took a moment and sat by her side and asked her, “Do you like trees?”
She nodded her head vigorously, making me wish desperately for a world full of people who’d respond to that question like that. “Kiti Chaan Astaat!” (“They’re so nice!”) she said, as if it were the most obvious and biggest miracle ever. Well, it is, as a matter of fact but I guess there are so many of nature’s miracles around us that we’ve forgotten to notice them….

Anyway, after a while, she managed to have created enough of an impact to get the gardener of the office premises of the ground there. So she paraded in, with her tools and her plant. With a lot of efforts some help and concentration, she planted the tree. Once all the work was done, almost oblivious to everyone around, she stood up and gently stroked a leaf of the plant that came up to her tiny shoulder. She then turned around and found me watching and said, with affectionate pride, “Majha Jhaad…” (“My tree…”)

I don’t know how many trees we gave away that day will make it through the next two years but till there are children like Manasvi around, there is hope….



  1. I hope The Sapling Project can inspire and involve more kids, parents and elders all over the country.

    • I’m glad that you people thought of it….. it is a genuinely a great idea.. 🙂 keep it up!

  2. Hope more and more people get inspire and get involve in some or the other way in the sapling project. It’s time to start thinking about the nature before its too late.

    • I too think so. It is a brilliant idea….. will be writing another post about it some time later..

  3. The sapling project hmm.. skeptical about it. Some past projects and efforts which turned up to be futile had more hype! Government has to come up with some wave for good.

    • It may not be the most earth shattering happening of the century but it is what I call a micro approach to the solution. Yes, the government definitely had to be much much more participative in terms of environmental concerns but we saw the pace at which they go at Copenhagen. Definitely demand more from them; but instead of standing there and criticizing them for their inefficiency, I’d rather do things like this project. If I just criticize and don’t lift a finger, I’d be doing nothing other than pushing the blame and shrugging off the responsibility for the future. This way, at least we’re proactive. We’re throwing in our coin along with pushing for the larger issue.

      And just for record, what is being ‘hyped’ about the work of this project is way way lesser than what is actually happening through it. I’d say the publicity is under rated.

    • We would be more than happy if you can help creating more `hype` around it …

      And we are absolutely open for ideas which will make this project more effective. Effectively if we all are collaborating to give better future to our children/grandchildren.

      As maithili pointed out, we would any day take 1% success from the project than to do nothing or asking someone else (government/societies) to do the action …

      • This is one small coin in the larger piggy bank but it is atleast one coin…. like they say in Marathi, thembe thembe tale saache ( even a lake is made up drop by drop)

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