Monday, April 21, 2008

Involving school kids in grow-with-trees drive

We have it from Anil Kumar that principal of a neighbourhood school, Anantha Geetha Vidyalaya, has helped Sapgreen water the 100 odd saplings they planted in a public park at Vijayanagara II on Ugadi day (April 7). The gesture of the school principal is noteworthy (what's princie's name, Anil,could you blog about him?), considering that some residents close to the park haven't been all that enthusiastic. Those who initially offered to take care of the plants appear to have lost interest; and one of them is said to have plainly refused, saying that Sapgreen, as a business venture, should pay for water.

The argument makes business sense, if we don't consider that there is public benefit in the business Anil and Ashwin pursue. And I would like to think that public-spirited individuals and groups have a vested interest in promoting the green business venture. FORT-Mysore have an enlightened self-interest in endorsing Sapgreen.

Anantha Geetha Vidyalaya has an enlightened school-head, with whom Sapgreen should work, to promote tree-planting culture among our school children. Every child that starts his/her schooling at A G Vidyalaya - from LKG or Std. I - should be encouraged by the school authorities to plant a sapling, so that children can see themselves growing with their trees. They could plant the saplings on the school premises or at their own backyards.Parents-teachers association could be involved in spreading the message. Ashwin and Anil would do well to request the principal to arrange class-room meetings with students, so that they can share their experience in tree-planting.

I know our senior colleague and tree-lover, Mr Krishna Vattam, has a standing invite to visit Anantha Geetha Vidyalaya. In the interest of the tree world Mr Vattam should accept this and also the many invitations he gets from other institutions, if only to push the grow-with-your-trees agenda among school children.


Anonymous said...

It is good that school children can participate in the tree growing activities.

If Sapgreen collects Rs.300/- from public for tree plantation, it should support water and other accessories to school or public who maintains these trees.

Though Sapgreen works for public interest, it is not NGO...

Ashwin said...

Yes, you are right. As a company, we do not expect others to donate their resources for the cause. We would like them to see value in the resources they spend.

We charge Rs.300 so that it includes the cost for watering and other accessories also. About 60% of this money goes completely towards maintenance of the trees and this is how we assure 100% survival. Another 5% of the money goes towards insuring the trees. i.e. any tree that withers due to natural causes at an early stage will be replaced.

Whether it is an NGO or a company, looking at the value it delivers is most important. And we believe that trees do have an incalculable value in them.