Green Day 2014 @ Pondicherry
Written by Deepika
To start with the plantation event was scheduled on 23rd November, 2014 in Tsunami quarters at 7.00 am, which is too early for me that too on a sunday. The volunteers assembled way ahead in the spot at 6:30 am, a total number of 60 persons showed up. I was surprised to see that mass number of volunteers especially on a Sunday morning for the plantation event. Our organizers Malan, Selva, Brindha, Siva and Satheesh were present before hand to guide the volunteers. The YHAI (Youth Hostels Association of India) team also joined hands with us in the event. Not just as volunteers, they also provided lunch and breakfast for all the volunteers, which indeed worth a mention.
Our aim for the day was to plant 250 saplings. The saplings were brought in advance the earlier night and were placed in the tsunami quarters. The volunteers were split into a team of 3 or 4 members to proceed with the plantation. The residents in the quarters were given a choice of choosing their favorite from the different types of saplings and we did the needful. The funniest thing was that the residents asked for the flowering plants. We were really shocked to see the ignorance of the residents. Our volunteers then explained the need and benefits of planting trees. Few of the residents did appreciate and heartly welcomed us for the future plantation events too. The response from the residents was indeed great and they welcomed us with a smile in their face. They even helped us watering the plants by providing us with tap water without hesitant. They also promised that they will water the saplings everyday. Some of the residents aided us in planting the saplings throughout the event. Around 9 am all of our volunteers were indeed exhausted, couldn’t say all of them thoughJ. Idly’s and Poori’s were provided as breakfast by the YHAI team to boost up our volunteers.
After breakfast we had a meeting and volunteers acted as per the instructions given by Malan and Selva. I should mention Sadich who is a school teacher, has brought along his sister and 6 of his students who were just 8-10 yr olds. The children enthusiastically participated in the event by mulching and watering the plants. Ramanujam Raja who is our active participant in plantation events has brought along his son and promised that he would bring any one of his family members in the next event too. We were surprised to see that not just the volunteers the residents of the tsunami quarters too actively participated in the plantation. Besides our Shivan Candid Studioz were freezing our moments in a very nice manner ;) His performance with cam cannot be described in words L Thanks to Shivan.
I would like to state the view of a volunteer whom I met 2 days after the event, Venkadesh, he is a librarian in Pondicherry University book house. When I asked about what made him to volunteer the plantation event, he replied “I have a farming land in Vellore, which I couldn’t take care of due to my profession, hence I thought I could at least participate in the plantation event, so that I could feel a bit satisfied at his heart. He also added that he is awaiting the next plantation event and looking forward to learn organic farming techniques from Brinda”. What more could we expect from a volunteer. It felt really great hearing this from him.
In between Miss. Manimozhi helped in collecting the contribution of Rs. 50 from the volunteers only if they are interested. A total amount of Rs. 1800 was collected from the volunteers. The amount collected was used for providing refreshments such as juice to the volunteers. It was 2 pm when we were done with planting all the saplings. It was a successful event I should say that which ended by 2.00 pm after which lunch (curd rice, Veg briyani) was provided to the volunteers, again by YHAI team. The event ended with my birthday party. Yayyy. Yes, it was my birthday. It felt really awesome receiving birthday wishes from volunteers whom I haven’t known earlier and from my friendsssss. I never expected plantation would so much tiring. It was a fun filled experience though. The best thing about the events organized by CTC is that I get to introduce myself to new bunch of friends every time J. Last but not least, we really appreciate the efforts done by our organizers Malan, Selva, Brinda and Satheesh. A special thanks to YHAI team, looking forward to work with them in the next event too. Cheers to all.