Vijaylakshmi, one of Bhumi’s Eco Champ volunteers, fondly remembers her school days when she often wondered why were they being taught the story of King Ashoka planting trees. What was so great about an emperor planting trees that it was a part of the school curriculum for years?
When I rewind the past for a moment now, I acknowledge with no doubt that Ashoka ‘removed grief’ by planting trees – a lesson to be reminded often, for this planet to exist.
“நிழலின் அருமை வையிலில் தெரியும்” meaning the worth of shade is only known when the sun is scorching. Reiterated by Warren Buffet in his famous quote – ‘ Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago’
‘Climate Change’ is the global risk that the world is facing now. Children like Greta Thunberg all over the world are creating a sense of urgency by asking the world leaders ‘how dare you?’ Born and raised by Gandhian principles in a country of non-violence, we wish to be the change we would like to see in this world through our tiny deeds.
Eco-champs of Bhumi is one such initiative towards igniting environment-friendly practices among young minds. As a volunteer of Eco-champs Season 2, it gives me a fulfilling experience to mentor the class 7 students of Nehru High School, Velachery. It is our ‘own version of “Tuesdays for future” organised once a month. Though located in an underdeveloped area of the city, the enthusiasm of the school correspondent and the coordinators in supporting this initiative is remarkable. We have had three interventions since August 2019. Within a couple of sessions, the students bonded well with us and eagerly look forward to new learning. In the process of teaching these young children, we too have learned a lot, trying to first practice what we aim to teach!
When those tender hands happily make seed balls, it gives us a lot of hope in seeing a greener future for generations to come. In these interventions, we see many budding “Ashoka, the great”!
நல்லார் ஒருவர் உளரேல் அவர்பொருட்டு
எல்லோர்க்கும் பெய்யும் மழை” – (மூதுரை)
Wordsmith: Vijayalakshmi (Volunteer, Chennai)
Eco-Champs programme of Bhumi inspires students to connect with the environment, and induce behavioral change in them to adopt sustainable living practices.