Indigenous forest from 100 acres of barren land

posted in: forest, Planting trees | 0

This is the story of D. Saravanan, a true environmentalist at heart, who dedicated nearly 25 years of his life to turning barren land into a green luscious forest spread over 100 acres, now known as the Aranya Forest and Sanctuary in Poothurai village, Tamil Nadu.
Born into a small farmer family near Villupuram district in Tamil Nadu, Saravanan always had a special connection with nature. At the age of 14, he participated in the 100-day march for the ‘Save the Western Ghats’ rally which deeply influenced his path in life.
After being active as an environmentalist in his youth days, Saravanan took up the project in Auroville in the year 1994. And with the help of the residents, students and the local community, Saravanan decided to grow a 100 acre of land into an Indigenous forest. It was not an easy task, from bringing water into the land, nourishing the soil, collecting rare local seeds, fighting poachers and planting thousands of trees on barren land. Saravanan dedicated 30 years of his life, sweat and dreams to what we today call Aranya Forest and Sanctuary.
Thanks to his exemplary work and dedication, the forest has 700 species of indigenous plants like Diospyrus Melanoxylon, Gloriosa superba, Memecylon Umbellatum and Derris Ovalifolia. The forest is also home to six man-made water bodies and pristine ravines.
Saravanan now dedicates his time to planting more trees, taking care of the forest and providing education to the local community and students about the importance of Indigenous forests.
A true environmentalist at heart, Saravanan truly believes that we are just the caretakers of the earth and when it’s time, it is our responsibility to hand over this planet to the next generation.

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