‘Anand Van’ the urban forest, is located in the NIMB area and has been in development for the past few years by Anand Van Mitra Mandal. This is on the land which is owned by the forest department.
A group of nature lovers hailing from Pune by creating a patch of forest spread across over 30 acres of land which was barren before but now has thousands of indigenous trees covering the area in the city. This is an urban forest named ‘Anand Van’ and is in the NIMB area. It has been in development for the past few years by the Anand Van Mitra Mandal (AVMM). The forest department, who owns this land, have greatly appreciated & acknowledged this group’s efforts.
This group includes a lot of local citizens, students, conservationists, corporates, kids from the neighboring slum areas. All of them have worked together as a team and achieved the feat of turning this barren piece of land into a lush green cover. They achieved this by conducting weekly tree plantation drives.
The President of AVMM, Praveen Kumar Anand said that until 2023, for 33 years, this forest land was completely barren, rocky & infertile. It was used as a dump for garbage and construction waste. It was also used to carry out illegal activities. It took some convincing for the local residents to start planting seeds and saplings and to ensure that they are taken care of, and finally this land into what it was supposed to be – a lush green forest. It wasn’t the easiest task to convince the residents about the importance of reclaiming the area and how it’ll pay them surplus in the future. In this way, the amount of people in this movement grew gradually.
As soon as the forest department got to know about the groups’ initiative, it offered help to them. It built a fence and a gate to avoid trespassing and ensure encroachment. A big challenge faced by the group was availability of water. Earlier, they used to carry water in cans. They requested residents to donate water through tankers.
Another challenge they faced was the protections of the planted saplings. Even this issue was solved as the children from the neighboring areas and slum settlements volunteered to help. To attract more birds in the area, they planted a variety of different trees. They even planted mulberries, and now birds come to Anand Van for those!
Bhupesh Mishra, who is also a member of this group said that they have now planted more than 10,000 trees. They included 80-90 different indigenous varieties. Thanks to the scientific way of planting trees and the care taking of plants after plantation has made the survival rate of the trees almost 95%.
Deputy Conservator of Forest of Pune, Mr. Rahul Patil, said about that group that they are doing great work. Anand Van is an excellent example of how a barren land be transformed into a forest. Such models must be made in many more places.
This was a little about this amazing group from Pune who planted a mini forest in the place of a barren land! Such efforts can be truly beneficial for our planet in the long run and hence, many more people should do the same across the globe. If you know of any more such initiatives, tell us in the comments below. If you enjoy such content, do visit the space for more!