Van Mahotsav: The Indian Festival of Forests and Trees
Every July, since 1950, thousands of saplings are planted throughout India in observance of Van Mahotsav, a festival of trees. This movement was started decades ago by K.M. Munshi, as an attempt to spread awareness regarding the perils of deforestation and to restore the forest cover of the country, one plant at a time. Over the years, this venture has gained momentum and the Van Mahotsav in India is now celebrated in several parts of the country as a week long festival, typically falling in the first week of July. Individuals, communities, and organizations do their bit for the environment by planting trees of different species in their locality.
These tree plantation drives aim to help reverse global warming and pollution and to educate the population regarding the benefits of preserving the forest cover of the nation.
India is a land of revolutionary environmentalists who have devoted all their energy to restoring the greenery of the country. One such enterprising individual is Padma Shri Jadav Payeng, the man who single-handedly grew a forest on the once barren sandbar of the Brahmaputra River. Payeng is living proof of the fact that if you have the determination, you can make a huge difference to the planet with just your own hands and an undying spirit. Another role model when it comes to conservation of forests is Dr. Anil Malhotra, who has created India’s first private wildlife sanctuary, spanning over an area of 300 acres. The Sai Sanctuary is an excellent example of how one man’s vision to change the face of the planet can actually provide shelter to so many different species of plants and animals. If these environmentalists can transform treeless lands into forests then so can you. It all begins with planting just one tree in your backyard.
There are several ways in which you can participate in the celebration of Van Mahotsav. If you have enough space in your home or farm then you can arrange a local tree plantation drive there or if not, you can join hands with an NGO to help them organize the Van Mahotsav festivities. A large chunk of the population is still not aware of this festival, spread the word with the help of social media and encourage your friends and family members to join the movement.
Remember, the core idea of Van Mahotsav is not just to plant a tree, but also to nurture it throughout its lifespan.
This is why Van Mahotsav in India is observed in the monsoon season because the rains create a favorable environment for the plants to survive in the soil. Among all the fun and frolic of the rainy season, this is one of the monsoon activities that will ensure that the country continues to receive a fair amount of rain in the decades ahead.
Tourdefarm supports Van Mahotsav and appeals to all agritourism center and farmstay owners to participate in the event and contribute to tree plantation throughout this monsoon season. Let us make our farms greener and create sustainable ecosystems that can thrive and flourish to provide nourishment to the future generations. Adding tree plantation drives to the list of monsoon activities at the farmstay will not only add to the beauty of the farm but will also motivate the tourists to play an active role in environmental preservation.