He Grows Lush Forest Through Guerrilla Gardening #WATWB
Concerned about the shrinking green spaces in Kolkata, 43-year-old Mantu Hait took it on himself and developed one kilometre forest through Guerrilla gardening.
He wanted to plant trees on the roadsides in 2010. But, he did not have legal rights to do so, as the land belonged to Calcutta Port Trust. Mantu wrote a letter to them asking for their permission to plant trees and waited for their response. But, even after several weeks, he did not get any response.
Then, he came to know about the concept of Guerrilla Gardening. It involves the gardening on land where the gardeners do not have legal rights to cultivate, like abandoned sites or areas that are not being cared for.
Mantu purchased the seeds and started planting trees with the help of some environmental organizations like Nature Mate.
But, due to lack of proper care and water, his plants started dying within a few weeks of the plantation. He then researched for the best practices and chose trees that do not need maintenance. Also, he sowed seeds between April to June in 2011 and the rains that came in the following months proved beneficial for the seeds.
“The results were overwhelming,” shared Mantu in a interview with Better India. “By August the plants were giving fruits and flowers. Looking at them grow every day was a meditative experience.” Neighbouring residents supported him by watering the plants near them.
Mantu has planted approximately 25,000 trees in ten years and revived the area which was once a barren dump-yard.
Located between the Majerhat and New Alipore Railway Stations, a one-kilometre stretched forest has a variety of trees including mangoes, guava, walnuts, tamarind, dates, lemons etc.4
Another positive impact from the urban forest is the increasing presence of the birds and animals including mongoose and golden jackals.
“While the world uses air quality monitoring devices to measure the air pollution, for me the validation of clean air are the 50 types of birds that can be spotted chirping in the wee hours of the morning,” he says.
Mantu has proved that one individual who is determined to make a difference in the world, can, with desire, drive, dedication, discipline, passion, and persistence.
This post is part of the We Are the World Blogfest, a monthly blogging event created by Damyanti Biswas and Belinda Witzenhausen to showcase stories of hope and light. This month is the 22nd #WATWB and I’m helping out as a co-host, along with extraordinary bloggers : Lizbeth Hartz, Peter Nena, Eric Lahti and Inderpreet Kaur Uppal —please hop over to check out their WATWB posts as well as from other WATWB participants for a dose of feel-good to last you a whole month. You’ll be happy you did!
Click HERE to check out the intention and rules of the blogfest and feel free to sign up at any time. You are always welcome!
April 26, 2019 2:03 am|
I was just thinking today (after reading a different blog post at Keith’s Ramblings) about how hard it is for one person to change anything. You gave us a good example of that very possibility. Thank you!
April 26, 2019 3:36 am|
I was given a link to this piece by Lisa and I’m so pleased she did. If only there were more people in the world with his determination. A fascinating read
April 26, 2019 2:57 pm|
Really liked this positive news story! One more shining example of how one dedicated, committed person can do so much. Thanks for sharing, Shelpa:)
April 26, 2019 7:08 pm|
Hats off to Mantu ji for persisting in his efforts despite the red tapism and apathy of the local civic bodies and thanks for highlighting his efforts. We need more green crusaders and guerillas like him.
April 26, 2019 7:10 pm|
Actually if one person sets his kind, he can really bring a change! What an amazing job done !
April 26, 2019 8:01 pm|
Wow!!! Thanks for sharing this amazing story, Shilpa. I read it twice and loved it.
April 26, 2019 8:36 pm|
What a wonderful endeavour! So glad he stuck with it, despite the early failures. Thanks for sharing this inspirational story, Shilpa.
April 26, 2019 11:08 pm|
That’s an inspiring piece and proves that one person can bring a change. Thanks for sharing it!
April 27, 2019 2:46 am|
Mantu is such an inspiration to all
Of us. He has lead by example and shown us the part of good karma for the society
April 27, 2019 5:12 am|
That’s such a beautiful example of an individual initiative. While we all struggle but never come up with such efforts that can make our surroundings better.
April 27, 2019 1:40 pm|
So inspiring to read about mantu- I am sure we all can do a little bit within our capacity… thanks for sharing shilpa.
April 28, 2019 8:07 pm|
Hi Shilpa – that’s great to read about … he certainly persevered and has now reaped the rewards … wonderful too to read about the air quality he’s achieved. Love stories like this … guerilla gardening has taken off here … and we all benefit – birds and bees too … cheers Hilary
April 29, 2019 7:59 am|
This is a good concept of gardening. Even I have shared about the need to plant trees. If we save mother nature, we will save and change ourselves as well.
We need more gardeners like him
April 30, 2019 10:46 am|
Mantu Hait is an inspiration and through Guerrilla gardening, he is spreading a wonderful thought. It’s a great way to cover abandoned areas.
April 30, 2019 12:59 pm|
Wow! Guerilla gardening! Fabulous. Do away with the red tape and go for it.
May 2, 2019 4:07 am|
It is wonderful to see how restorative these trees have been and continue to be.
May 25, 2019 11:47 am|
I just love these success stories of aforestation and tree plantation. Our world definitely needs them. Trees are my pet project. I plant at least one where ever I move to if not more.