Submitted by: Development Alternatives
Implemented country: India
Title: Reviving the Green Lungs of Delhi
In India trees have been worshipped for thousands of years. The importance of trees in purifying the air, as natural resources, for maintaining the ecological balance, and in providing shade and nutrients to the soil is well known. New Delhi, the capital of India, was once one of the greenest capitals in the world. It was also one of the few capitals that could boast of a forest in its midst. Slowly however, things changed. The green areas of the city including the forest started shrinking due to developmental activities such as construction and mining. A need was felt to bring this to a halt. The “Reviving the Green Lung of Delhi” project was a significant step in this direction. Tens of thousands of school children have participated in the project. The idea was to educate children on tree planting, its science and its philosophy. The children then act as agents of change, trying to change the city culture, trying to convert the city from one which cuts trees to one which plants and protects them. Clean India, a nationwide program on environmental assessment, awareness, advocacy and action, is spearheaded by school students. It aims at understanding the importance of native trees, developing a dry garden in the school, taking up tree plantating and understanding the need to care for and protect mature trees.