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19 Oct 2021, Edition - 2289, Tuesday

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Coimbatore

Rebuilding India’s Lost Forest Cover

Covai Post Network

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“India’s total forest stretch was originally 33.5%, but now only 18.5 % remains. We need 50 crore trees to create the lost forest cover.”

In their quest for comfort and luxury, human beings have indiscriminately destroyed the very environment that had created them. While others continue with this self-destructive mission, T. Vasanth (25), an engineering graduate from Vadavalli, Coimbatore, is trying to repair the damage done by others.

Starting a page titled ‘I like Coimbatore’ on Facebook, he was able to gather many friends in the district and began a tree-planting campaign under the name of ‘Ver.’ “The original forest spread in India was 33.5%. Due to various reasons, mainly man-made destructions, the forest cover have come down to 18.5%. If the original percentage
has to be restored, more than 50 crore trees have to be planted. We cannot keep sayingthat it is the duty of the forest department,” Vasanth says.‘Ver’ has an ambitious plan of planting and maintaining one crore trees. His ‘I like Coimbatore’ page on FB has currently more than 90,000 followers.

Coimbatore has already started to feel the impact of the disappearing green cover. The cool climate has started to change because the trees are vanishing. So, Vasanth and friends started the tree planting campaign from Coimbatore, where they were born. The team has planted 3000 trees on Avinashi Road, on May 1, this year. They plan to plant 10,000 trees on Mettupalayam Road on August 9. Planting trees is very easy compared to the task of looking after them. So, the team is now seeking the help of volunteers. Presently they are watering the saplings on Avinashi
Road on the weekends by bringing water in two lorries. Since the Mettupalayam Road project is a massive one, they are looking for help. Until now, they have been spending from their own pockets. But, more than money, it is help that they are looking for. Interested volunteers who can spare some time on the weekends, and those living in other districts who would like to become a part of this mission are requested to contact ‘Ver’ at 95294 11422, 80565 65530, and 96883 33370.

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