(Part of Netarhat Vidyalaya Diamond Jubilee 2014 Celeb Event)
It’s a fascinating tale of why and how the Netarhat Vidyalaya family under NVS (Netarhat Vidyalaya Samiti) guidance made some determined efforts lately to turn around the corner to make school campus covered with more green all around it like never before.
In mid May this year when NVS Executive Committee team’s visit to Netarhat coincided with that of Minister, HRD, Jharkhand, what surprised us most was the intensity of the summer heat chasing us down right from under open sky to Ashrams(Hostels), main school building and then on to the venue of special Assembly at ‘workshop’ premises. The phenomenon of global warming seemed to have taken into its fold Netarhat plateau too. The days of Netarhat wearing a tag of state’s summer resort seemed nearing an end. A point for worry indeed! It was a kind of development handy enough to agitate the mind and thoughts of NOBs (Netarhat Old Boys) in particular who continue to savour the memories of beautiful summer months in the decades gone by.
Sunrise view from Netarhat
Jolted by such developments and pitted against the odds of weather change the NVS team then decided to minimise and counter its adverse effects by going in for trees plantation in a big way all over the school campus. Monsoon season 2014 was targeted to make use of for giving shape to our thought. A blueprint was promptly prepared; the State Forest department officials were got in touch with to provide us technical and materials support; Bishunpur based Vikas Bharati, an NGO too was roped in to supplement our efforts.
With nearly all preparatory activities in place by end of July, we then simply needed to wait for the school to reopen after its monsoon vacation in August second week for we intended to enlist and ensure participation of boys, teachers and all other support staff in this programme. After all, involving the school family at large in this mega event as part of school’s Diamond Jubilee Year 2014 celebrations was the basic idea we had in mind to push through. Everything went according to our plan in stages, like, digging of 1006 pits all around school campus, providing compost manure to each of them got completed by August beginning; making provision for as many gabions posed a few problems initially that got sorted out subsequently.
Selection of plant species was done carefully before hand – those providing shade, others bearing fruits, still others providing useful timber and not to forget the trees bearing beautiful flowers, were all there in our list to add to a significant change in the landscape once they grow in due course.
The NVS team (me accompanied by my son, Anurag who had reached specifically for this event from Delhi, Shri Krishna Swaroop Prasad, JB Tubid, Amalendu K Mitra, Prayag Dubey) joined by Ranchi NOBA members – Shri Girish Nath Singh and Dr Kaushal Kishore – reached Netarhat a day earlier on 16th August’14 to oversee the arrangements made and to provide finishing touches for the proposed function.
School’s Agriculture teacher, Shri Ranjan K Singh had responded very enthusiastically and a couple of weeks ahead he had made all preparatory activities in place to ensure that for this event no loose ends were needed to be tied up for the last minute. The same evening we had a meeting with the Principal and all teachers and while discussing among other issues, participation of the entire school family in the function the next morning was emphasised and insisted upon for it was basically school’s programme where NVS merely had extended a helping hand and had played its role as a sort of catalyst.
Sunday August 17’14, the day of reckoning for this big event turned out to be huge occasion for the school family. Chief Guest for the occasion, Dr DK Shrivastava, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Jharkhand arrived from Ranchi right on time at 10.30am. He was accompanied by the DFOs and his team of Forest officials. The weather was largely dry with overcast condition that ideally suited us. In the plantation of as many as 100 plants in school campus that day everyone of us – the boys, teachers, Matajis, NVS team members, Ranchi and Netarhat NOBA members and above all, the Forest department officers present – all participated with exuberance. The rest nearly 900 plants would find their assigned pits over the days of the week ending on 23/24 Aug’14 by involving all the boys under the guidance of the Principal and the Agriculture teacher.
Plant species chosen may broadly fall in the categories of those bearing fruits (mangoes, Sapota (Cheeku), lichi, jamun, jackfruit, guava etc); those of economic importance (Sagwan, Chandan, Sisam etc); and those providing shade as also bearing beautiful flowers (gulmohar, kachnar etc). Once they grow in size they would add to a significant change in the landscape.
Tree Plantation Team
Tree Plantation Boys’ Team
Special Assembly, after the trees plantation, was held at the ‘workshop’ premises where the need for protecting our environment and for planting trees every year was duly emphasised and taken as a pledge. Copies of brochures, booklets etc that the Forest official had brought with them were distributed among the boys and all those present; a few CDs on forest life were also played on a big screen for the boys.
The day’s programme concluded with a community lunch – ‘Van Bhoj’ – in school campus where apart from all of us from Ranchi, Shrimanjis, Matajis and support staff of the school joined in. It was truly a memorable day for the school family and all of us.
Having tasted success in an event of this nature we’re now motivated to set our sight at the bigger picture. A beginning for ‘Green Netarhat, Clean Netarhat’ has been made. The momentum thus gained needs to be maintained by sustained efforts and no one does appreciate this better than the school family.
The next phase of this programme, therefore, is to develop a huge plant nursery of our own in the school campus. The idea is, apart from meeting our own need for more plants species henceforth, it should also cater to the needs of the residents, mostly farmers, in nearby villages by providing them good varieties of baby plants of fruit trees and those of economic importance. This is also keeping in line with an earlier decision of NVS for school family to initiate/ expand fulfilling its social responsibilities by forging alliance and bonding with the nearby villages in a manner noted here, among other measures. The land behind ‘Chalet’ measuring nearly 5 acres is now having a blueprint in readiness to develop a plant nursery on modern lines. If, therefore, everything goes well with no major impediment / restraints blocking our way, the school may perhaps boast of a beautiful plant nursery in a sprawling area by, say, next monsoon season.
In our this endeavour we are assigning equal significance to suggestions in this regard already with us by a few NOBs ( Uday, Bajrang, Dharmendra and Sachchida N Bajpai via Facebook ) for developing another ‘Nashpati Bagan’. To this, we propose to add a separate ‘Amrood (Guava) Bagan and a ‘Cheeku Bagan” each, on a land measuring nearly an acre for each. They are proposed to come up during the next monsoon season 2015. However, any other suggestions for more of ‘Green Netarhat, Clean Netarhat’ would also be most welcome.
Before closing this tale, however, on behalf of the school family and NVS I may like to place on record an appeal before the NOBA units all over – in India and abroad – to think in terms of donating generously, in cash or in kind, in favour of ‘Netarhat Vidyalaya Vikas Kosh’ to be able to go ahead with the kind of project proposal discussed here, among others, that were earlier shared in our website: www.netarhatvidyalaya.in/ Netarhat Vidyalaya Samiti. The state funding, I may mention, for such programmes and projects has been few and far between, say, none this year. This time round therefore, the ‘Vikash Kosh’ had to bear the financial burden to the extent required; so before it gets depleted further, the same may need to be replenished. This appeal, in other words, may be construed as ‘our alma mater calling’.
Hail! Hail!! Netarhat. ‘Vande hey sunder mum sakha Netarhat sada……’
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