It was a lazy Saturday morning and employees of KPMG and BCG were scheduled to come to Aravali Bio Diversity Park to plant saplings as a part of their CSR initiative. The morning was bright with slight winds, and clouds had begun to gather. The planting was planned near the peripheral wall towards Nathupur, DLF phase 3. It was a long walk in the lush green ambience with a slight drizzle. We sighted kingfishers and peacocks as they wailed the onset of rain. We passed a settlement and were taken aback by some garbage and concrete malba that was dumped. But we also saw a couple of small saplings that grew from the concrete crevices, signaling that nature will live on if given the space.
We reached the plantation spot, and the planters were given a demo as to how the planting needed to be done so that the saplings would survive with minimum human intervention. The enthusiastic volunteers descended on the planting area with spades, gloves and watering cans as they were helped by the ever so helpful gardeners without whose support the whole exercise would have been futile. As clouds gathered, planting gathered speed and then it started pouring; with huge gusty winds accompanying the showers. We were all drenched, and saw the sapling pits were filling with rain water. This, however, did not deter us and we continued planting in the rain. The water in the pits was emptied with discarded Amul Spray tins. We were told that the saplings that were brought from the nursery had to be planted or else they would not survive. As the planting was done, many volunteers were transported back to the car park in a tractor with an attached wagon while the rest of us walked back, feeling smug that we had finished planting all the saplings planned for the day.
By Kalpana Swaminathan who volunteered with planting at Aravali Bio Diversity Park on August 6, 2016