Tag Archive for tarumitra – friends of trees

Tarumitra – Friends of Trees

taru_photoTarumitra, meaning“Friends of Trees” in Hindi and Sanskrit, is a student movement to protect and promote a healthy environment on Earth. Started by students in Patna, India in 1988, the movement has spread into hundreds of high schools and colleges all over India. It has over 2,50,000 members in over 2000 high schools and colleges. Tarumitra has also had several full time volunteers from India and abroad.

A students’ response to the Ecological Crisis of the Earth

taru_storyBack in 1988 when very few people discussed environmental problems on a serious note, high schools students from several schools came together under the banner of Leadership Training for Service (LTS), a students’ leadership programme. A Jesuit Fr. Robert Athickal addressed them on the growing menace of the ecological crisis. Tarumitra meaning “Friends of Trees.” The group organised a few programmes in the same year and Fr. Robert Athickal guided the students through a period of groping and soul searching.

Tarumitra students campaigns

TarumitraTarumitra students have taken out massive rallies, organized protest demonstrations, resisted the felling of trees and forests, built roadside gardens, raised rare trees in genetic nurseries, gone on long nature-treks, cleaned up garbage dumps, “taxed” people who spread garbage, organized rallies for protecting migratory birds,  campaigned for proper repair of roads for reducing vehicular pollution, organized door-to-door contact campaigns and are on a constant crusade to protect bio-diversity.

World Earth Day around Spring festival of Holi and vanishing Malda Mangoes

Earthday-huan-chain-640x423Tarumitra students join the World Community on The Face of Climate Change

Patna. 22 April: Tarumitra students from various s schools/colleges organized the Celebration of the World Earth day for a whole month starting from March 2013. The idea was that the spirit of the jubilation of the Earth Mother must reach a large number of their peers and their families. Siji Varghese SJ, doing research in TISS, Mumbai lecturing to the Tarumitra activists earlier underlined the fact that Climate Changes were hitting us today right on the eye. The basic factor that  has caused the ecological crisis has been the disconnection we have had with the earth. He suggested that Tarumitra could try ways and means to connect the present generation back to the earth.

School Community in the rain shadow Ramganj Mandi, Rajasthan towards Organic Farming

Kota_Sr-Celine-FSMA-oversees-the-harvested-field-300x225Early this year when the Principal Sr. Ishpriya came back from the Tarumitra Bio-reserve in Patna, she brought along an intense desire to convert the two acre plot of the convent land into Organic agriculture. She saw the way students in Bihar led by Ms Margaret Molomoo were completing a successful change over into Organic Farming at Tarumitra. Sr. Ishpriya rushed home to Ramganj Mandi in Kota and presented to the school her dream of Organic farming.

Belgian students Jens Wielandt and Willem Lenaerts raise questions about garbage

willem-ramesh-ims-and-jens-hauling-logTwo students from University Belgium Ghent who are students of Environmental management joined Tarumitra for a three month Internship in March 2012. Jens and Willem identified the issues of Garbage, especially the non-biodegradable plastics as the main garbage problem of Patna, the city with a minimum of three milllion people. Both moved around and met students, their teachers and parents, bureaucrats and politicians, law enforcement police personnel and the people on the streets. Both of them wanted their research to be action-oriented and therefore the attempt was as to move the garbage! They collected non-degradable materials and worked on them to convert them into re-cycled, reusable resources.