Most adults during their childhood were raised on tales that waxed poetic about mythical, magical forests with fascinating creatures great and small. The harsh reality shows itself most poignantly today, where over 80% of the world's green cover is depleting, at alarming speeds. While social media has been magnanimous in raising awareness, the velocity of our natural destruction is grossly undermined. 69,27,515 trees have been cut in 2021 alone. Tree planting in India was once driven by numbers with a concerning lack of transparency with no tracking after plantations and a worrying (tree) mortality rate.
The earth's green signal for help was heard by Sankalp Taru, an organisation of nature-enthusiasts absolutely smitten with nature, whose vision is to develop a lush, bi-diverse sustainable world by igniting a tree-centric natural revolution. Sankalp which means oath, and taru which refers to a tree ( in language: sanskrit? symbolises the company's dream to plant, conserve and ensure their healthy survival. It was seeded to create an online platform to encourage tree plantation, besides tracking planted trees. The web portal was launched a year later and by 2014 Sankalp Taru had expanded their green footprint to six states, including Leh Ladakh. The company had expanded to 17 states in diverse India by 2018 and hopes to carry forth their green plan to other planets by the year 2035.
Sankalpt Taru operates on a unique model that motivates people to engage in tree plantation by offering extraordinary ideas for those interested, like trees that suit zodiac signs or are best suited for certain festivals (name trees). Their Rural Livelihood Programme ensures that poor and marginalised farmers receive fruit bearing and/or medicinal trees on their land.
The saplings procured by Sankalp Taru are of credible quality, and a grafted variety of fruit species. This allows the sapling a short gestation period but with a healthy survival rate that supports their beneficiaries. Fruit bearing tree species are selected and distributed according to the agroclimatic zone and cowdung and vermicompost are used as fertilisers in their fruit orchards for an organic produce.
The farmers are assisted by Sankalp Taru’s various teams on technical assistance as well as guidance regarding watering, weeding, gap filling, mulching, post-harvest value, etc.
Sankalp Taru’s community model works to convert bare lands belonging to communities or public lands into lush forests with an aim to breed the ecosystem around it. Native trees are planted to promote regional biodiversity and the trees are planted in close proximity to each other, with spacing depending on the species planted. The team follows the Miyawaki method, a Japanese technique to grow denser forests in one patch of the Medchal community forest in Telangana.
Sankalp Taru Foundation: The species used for community plantation sites are selected to meet the fodder, and other requirements of the villagers living in the vicinity. The soil and climate of the area is suited to the growth of particular tree species which are native to the region. Healthy saplings of selected species, including those between a year to 2. 5 are planted. Farm Yard Manure (FYM) and other pest controllers are applied during the plantation. A state-of-the-art micro drip irrigation system is laid in the plantation block to conserve the water.
SankalpTaru maintains the plantation block through our 24*7 operations which includes a 24*7 watch and ward, watering of all saplings, de-weeding and manure feeding by the local staff.
The area is cleared of weeds before the selected land is fenced to keep away stray cattle and wild animals. Then a pit of 2-5 feet is dug, depending on the species to be planted, either manually or through auger to expedite the process. Local community members are roped in for this work to ensure practise, awareness and education.
Sankalp Taru has successfully spread its roots from the south, all the way to Ladakh in the north and works intrinsically with their famer-beneficiaries through close-training and capacity building. Continuous training and evaluation is a core part of their foundation to deliver optimal quality of fruits, develop sustainable practices and ensure 100% survival of the planted trees.