Nagpur Local

Arid land – lush green mini-forest

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In a small village near Kalmeshwar about 30km from Nagpur, A lush green patch of bamboo mini-forest bears testimony to the resilience of the plant and also innovative thinking of a young sarpanch. Due to heavy murum presence on the ground, In 2015, this two-acre patch of land was barren but now it is abuzz with life and hosts tall bamboo plantation. Khapri-Ubagi village’s sarpanch Ritesh Pawarkar was a reason for starting all this his role as not only as an administrator but also an environment in his late 30s. Pawarkar said “You can’t grow any crop there, It’s hard rock and has a lot of murum One girl from our village was studying MSc and was connected and was connected with Neeri. Hence, I asked her to see what can be done about this degraded land.” A team from Nagpur visited the village for a spot study due to a meeting between Neeri officials and Pawarkar in 2015. Pawarkar said, ” They took the sample from the ground and analyzed in their lab. The result was that only 10% of it was soil and the rest hard rock Yet, Neeri took up the challenge and chose a two-acre stretch for the experiment,”. Khapri-Ubgai has become an example for other places with degraded land and this project started three years ago. Pawarkar added,” It’s impossible to imagine what kind of place it was before we planted bamboo with Neeri’s help. Nothing would grow here. Even weed managed to stay on the ground only for two months of monsoon after which it was left barren again. But now, it’s green with bamboo shooting off to 50 feet high. There are so many bamboo products that can be made and women self-help groups can be set up to take it forward,”. By setting up a cottage industry for women the young Turk is now planning to take this forward.

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