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ENVIRONMENT

Greening Odisha

Location: Erasama Block

The 1999 supercyclone uprooted and destroyed over nine crore trees across 14 districts in Odisha. In 2000, SNEH started a ‘village greening’ initiative among the women and children of the worst-hit Erasama Block in Odisha. More than 500 children and 300 women planted fruit-bearing and shade-giving trees that they still tend to today, after so many years, by frequently de-weeding, watering and putting up protective barriers. In 2010, more than 1,000 saplings were planted to further the program. In 2002, 500 schoolchildren participated in SNEH’s ‘Campaign Coconut’ — an effort to regenerate coconut palms in the area and restore a small but significant part of Odisha’s green cover.

A part of SNEH’s reconstruction program in the supercyclone-affected areas has been largescale plantation activities and avenue plantations, and restoration of village forests and back-yard vegetable gardens.

SNEH has also helped schools students ‘think green’ and contribute to conserving the environment by organizing special programs for them. Working to save the environment started indoors – with sit & draw and poster competitions, debates and essay writing. From a crash course in bird-watching and wilderness survival skills, to cleaning up the forest and learning to identify trees, SNEH has helped a large number of schoolchildren to discover the naturalist inside them

SNEH has been actively participating in the National Environment Awareness Programs (NEAC) every year since 1997.