Climate Change is the biggest challenge of our times. It’s a global problem that requires action at all levels.

However without transforming individuals, it will be hard to mitigate the problem of this magnitude.

I believe if individuals are empowered, any problem can be addressed.

But without action, hope and belief don’t bring change.

With this thought, a handful of volunteers in my village in Odisha started a plantation drive back in June 2016. We didn’t have any funds to start with. We didn’t know where to begin. We didn’t even know the benefit of what we were about to do.

We identified a vacant government land on the outskirts of our village. We spent the next several weeks cleaning up the place and digging holes for the plantation. We went to a nearby government nursery and brought 500 saplings.

Just before the monsoon, the plantation was done. More than 50 volunteers participated in this activity.

Next year in 2017, we planted 500 trees at another vacant land. With regular care and supervision, the two mini forests came alive and became major attractions. Young people from nearby villages came there to take selfies and record videos.

We continued the plantation work in the years that followed. We still didn’t realize the impact that we were creating until 2022.

On 5th June 2022, Government of Odisha felicitated our Team with “Friend of Environment” award at a decorated event organized at Bhubaneswar.

When we look back on our journey of the last 7 years, it was full of uncertainties and challenges. We witnessed Super Cyclone Phani that impacted 80% of the plantation in May 2019. In Aug 2019, we lost one of the oldest members and biggest strength of our Team in an unfortunate road accident. Onset of COVID19 derailed our plans.

However, every time something didn’t go as per plan, someone from the team stood up and steadied the ship. Every time we faced challenges, we believed in team work and were prepared to put in the desired effort to make things happen.

Final thoughts:
– Real change requires consistent effort.
– Action is more powerful than thoughts and ideas.
– Motivation is overrated. So, get ready to go through the grind and make things happen.
– Think Global, Act Local. That’s a powerful way to address Climate Change.

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