Sunday, November 04, 2007

Project Green Hands - 4th Nov 2007

This time, PGH was slightly different as it did not involve seeding or preparation work for planting. We visited a village about 80 kms away from Chennai, called Salavakkam to prepare ground for planting trees there.

Much more than PGH, what really struck me was the eagerness with which the villagers participated in the games. This insight of Isha to involve the villagers in games as part of ARR and other programs is very pertinent to the effectiveness as success of all these initiatives. As the games were in progress, the happiness on the faces of all participants - even though it came from the involvement in the games itself (it had nothing to do with Isha barring the trigger) - made it clear how far we can take this initiative if we roll this out in a proper way. Actually, it brought eager audience in the form ranging from 6 year old children to 70 year old women. See this video to get a glimpse of what I am referring to.

Post games, our work involved explaining to the villagers what PGH was about and in requesting their assistance with the prep work of digging pits and supporting with the plantation and future nurturing of the trees. We did see a lot of eagerness with the people to participate in this initiative but talking about something and actually taking up and doing something are two very vastly different things. It remains to be seen how much of this actually materializes as time goes forward. Salavakkam has tentatively agreed to plant and care for 500 trees now.

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