Khammam: With the objective of conserving local biodiversity and increasing green cover in rural areas, Puducherry-based Universal Eco Foundation, involved in conservation of biodiversity, has taken up plantation programme in Khammam.
The foundation initiated the plantation activity with funding from Grow Trees, a social enterprise that provides a unique ‘Greet with Trees’ service to individuals and organisations.
For the financial year 2020-21, the foundation planted as many as 25,000 saplings at Mangalagudem, Thamminenipalem, Muthagudam, Arekodu, Korlabodu thanda and Baswapuram villages of Khammam district at a cost of Rs 8 lakh.
Speaking to Telangana Today, Universal Eco Foundation (UEF), Founder and Director, Dr Bubesh Guptha said that the planting of saplings was being done with thematic objectives such as trees for people, trees for birds, trees for tribals and trees for waste land.
For planting the saplings, local workers are hired to ensure livelihood for them. “Priority is given to plant varieties such as tamarind, guava, teak, neredu, neem. coconut, chinna tangedu and pongamia, a source of biodiesel,” he explained.
“The tree varieties being planted will ensure livelihood for local people directly and indirectly, in addition to increasing the green cover. The Telangana government’s Haritha Haram is a unique programme and what we are doing is to augment its impact,” Dr Guptha averred.
He informed that in 2021- 2022 the UEF is going to plant one lakh tree saplings in three States of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana with the support of Grow Trees. Of them around 10, 000 saplings will be planted in Khammam villages by involving local gram panchayat leaders.
Every plantation area is protected by fencing and the responsibility of watering and protecting the saplings will be on the respective panchayats. Apart from the ecological advantages it is aimed to create green jobs to boost the rural economy which was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Around 1.5 lakh plants have been planted for the past two years in several States and the foundation is working in 25 States in the country. Its activities are designed by a team of eminent biodiversity professionals, conservationists, field botanists, environmentalists who are associated with the UEF, he added.
Muthagudem sarpanch Bujanga Reddy who expressed pleasure at the UEF’s activity said the trees will certainly help the villagers as there are fruit bearing varieties. He thanked the foundation for selecting the village for the plantation programme.
The same was the opinion of Baswapuram and Korlabodu thanda sarpanches Mohan Rao and Seetharam, who assured that they will engage the gram panchayat workers to look after the saplings.
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