THE REGREEN CHENNAI, an intense movement for reviving green cover of the city was inaugurated. THE REGREEN CHENNAI is systematically planned initiative to strengthen and escalate the ongoing many efforts to enhance the green cover of Chennai, specifically in the background of green cover loss caused by cyclone Vardah.
Envisioned by Fr. Jegath Gaspar Raj on behalf of EARTHSMILES Trust, the initiative is to be jointly orchestrated by more than 20 civil society organizations which include Rotary International, CREDAI, Y’s Men International, EXNORA, Federation of Tamil Nadu Farmers Associations, Vanagam, Osai, Madras Social Service Society, Inthinai, Chennai Trekking Club, Good News TV, Brand Avatar, Classic Hymms, Tamil Chamber of Commerce, News Media Association of India, Catalyst PR, YMCA and Confederation of Tamil Agriculture Commerce Industry and Services.
“We will be planting 1 lakh of well grown saplings, not less than 4.5 feet size, before the monsoon this year. However, THE REGREEN CHENNAI project will inspire, encourage, facilitate and support like-minded NGO groups and individuals to plant as many number as possible to reach a target of 5 lakh over a period of 5 years. Only in locations where small dense forest making is possible we will use small saplings and seed balls. We will also be simultaneously making efforts to enhance the suburban Chennai’s green cover by focusing on 100 villages. However, no time limit has been fixed for this component,” said Fr. Jegath Gaspar Raj.
Native species of trees which have endurance to natural disasters and drought, namely Pungai Maram, Poovarasu, Vembu, Naaval, Naagalingam, Panai Maram, Maa Maram, Nelli Maram are to be planted.
THE REGREEN CHENNAI is envisioned as people’s participatory movement involving widest possible stake holders. To this effect, plans have been devised to organize 100 seminars in colleges and schools across the city, conduct 3 small marathons and a grand finale marathon and other awareness programmes.
“In the process we will also be creating massive awareness about urban disaster risks and ways to be prepared for them, creating a pool of technology and information-enabled disaster volunteers in multiple locations, and bring in personal attitude changes that in the long run will critically contribute to urban disaster risk reduction,” he added.
“As we upkeep our home, we need to help our neighborhood have healthy environment. Plants and trees are the unique elements of our planet and primary producers of food. To support our healthy and peaceful living on the earth, people need to come together and support initiatives like this,” opined Fr. Jegath Gaspar Raj