Global green push by Taj City NGO

Agra: Giving a major push to greening efforts, an NGO in Taj city launched its 15th sapling plantation drive on a global scale to commemorate its 15th foundation day.

Read in Hindi: पर्यावरण संरक्षण में जुटी संस्था ने लगाए 15 हजार पौधे

Since its inception in 2006, SPHEEHA has planted every year, thousands of saplings across the globe and followed up with upkeep for three years to ensure their survival. About 84% of all the trees planted by SPHEEHA members in the past 14 years have survived.

Sharing details programme coordinator Shabd Mishra said the university of Maryland and Global Forest Watch reported that our Earth had already lost 10.4 million acres of tropical forest in 2020 at places such as the Brazilian Amazon, a 12 percent higher loss as compared to the year 2019. Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii has reported carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning and forest clearing activities at an all-time high. The atmospheric carbon dioxide levels exceeded 420 PPM (parts per million) in April 2021 as compared to the 278 PPM pre-industrial levels. 

In this scenario NGOs like SPHEEHA with their tree plantation drives, lend a much-needed helping hand to the greening efforts of Governments and other organizations across the globe, Mishra added.

This year’s tree planting function of SPHEEHA was inaugurated at Dayalbagh in Agra. A ‘Guard of Honour’ was presented to the Most Revered Prof Prem Saran Satsangi Sahab, Chairman Emeritus of the Advisory Committee of Education to DEI University by a live band consisting of SPHEEHA volunteers in the age group 13-63 years.

This was followed by hoisting of the Indian National flag along with the singing of the  National Anthem and a prayer at the Lotus Feet of the Almighty. Saplings were then planted by the dignitaries in Dayalbagh, Agra by members including GS Sood, President Radhasoami Satsang Sabha, MA Pathan, SPHEEHA President, and  PK Kalra, Director DEI.

Many officials and dignitaries from across the globe joined the event which was connected over the internet and the live stream was managed by SPHEEHA Headquarters at Agra. Some of the dignitaries who participated were Dantu Charandasi, Consul General of India at Perth, Australia; Brian Weaver, City Councilman of John Creeks, Georgia, USA; Lord Mayor of Leicester, United Kingdom; Petra Gaskins, Chief of Staff for NJ Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, New Jersey, USA and Neena Singh, Councilperson of Montgomery Township, Pennsylvania, USA. Due to the prevailing pandemic conditions, social distancing norms and other safety measures were duly exercised everywhere.

This year SPHEEHA has planted a total of 18500 saplings of over 70 varieties in 125 locations across the globe. About 15500 saplings were planted as a part of reforestation at Ratamati village, Rajaborari Estate in the hills of Madhya Pradesh, India; over 200 saplings planted in Atlanta, USA; over 200 saplings planted at the botanical parks in Singapore, and 150 saplings planted at its headquarters in Dayalbagh, Agra amongst others. As indiscrete and haphazard tree plantation drives can cause massive disruption in local ecosystems, SPHEEHA has always ensured that all saplings planted are suitable to local biodiversity. 

Speaking on the occasion, SPHEEHA President  MA Pathan (Former Chairperson of Indian Oil Corporation and Former Resident Director, Tata Sons) said that, “SPHEEHA completes 15 Glorious years of being committed to its cause of improving the environment & ecology in areas where we are present and there could not be a better way of commemorating this other than planting 15000+ saplings on our 15th Annual International Tree plantation day.”

The event coordinator,  Rahul Bhatnagar said, “It gladdens my heart that we could contribute to the environment in some manner by our humble efforts as a team. I would give the credit of this successful 15th Tree Plantation drive to my colleagues and volunteers in SPHEEHA.”

The event was supported by an able team comprising Pankaj Gupta, Col. RK Singh, and Vinod Pathak from Agra.

Sood, president of the Radhasoami Satsang Sabha, praised the SPHEEHA team and mentioned, “SPHEEHA has been displaying an exemplary dedication towards environmental causes since its inception and this 15th International Tree Plantation Day is a testimony to the same.”

Dayalbagh is a self-contained colony renowned for its serene environment and secular establishments, in which its inhabitants lead an active, disciplined, and cooperative community life dedicated to service, conforming to the high spiritual ideals of their faith.

On the outskirts of the historic city of Agra, the colony is situated in garden settings, away from the din and noise of the city. Nestled between lush green fields, it provides an excellent ambiance and academic setting which is in harmony with nature. This, along with a simple, disciplined, and principled life, undoubtedly contributes to the strength of the social, moral, and spiritual fiber of the residents.

The colony has its Dairy, a Community Kitchen, an Allopathic hospital which also has a Maternity ward. Facilities exist for Ophthalmic and Dental treatment, Ultrasound, ECG, and Pathological testing. All consultations and treatments are free for everyone. Also, there are Homeopathic and Ayurvedic dispensaries as well. Small scale industries known as the Model Industries were established in 1916 to provide employment and a source of livelihood to the persons residing in the colony. It has done some pioneering work in the country. The industries have now been decentralized and cottage-scale production of goods of daily necessity is taking place. The Radhasoami Urban Cooperative Bank and the Dayalbagh Mahila Bank cater to the financial requirements of various organizations and individuals in the colony. DEI (Deemed) University is also an extended part of the colony.

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