India: The Sapling Project

The Sapling Project. Image By Bombay Lives

The Sapling Project. Image By Bombay Lives

Two Mumbai based corporate executives Satish Vijaykumar and Ranjeet Walunj started a successful online and offline campaign that is aimed to change the face of Mumbai, India by making it more green.

Pushpee at Welcome To Mumbai tells why this kind of project is required:

There is too much dust, pollution, population in Mumbai and there are new constructions cropping up everyday and the sad part is that the trees are chopped down for this concrete progression. But do you realize that soon there will be only concrete jungle with no greenery left and the only place where we will find greenery is when we to go to a park for our regular walk???

The blogger adds:

In Mumbai, we only see two kinds of birds: crows and pigeons, where are those other beautiful birds?

The Sapling Project. Image by Fotuya

The Sapling Project (click on the image to go to the project website). Image by Fotuya

Satish Vijaykumar announced this in his blog Bombay Lives on November 24, 2009:

Me and Ranjeet are doing a small campaign to plant and share saplings, free of cost to one and all in different parts of our city.

Do check out for more details and to sign up for the saplings.

The project website informs that plants will be distributed freely. Additionally people can sponsor Neem or Ashoka plants @ 40 Indian Rupees (about 85 cents) per sapling. To participate one has to plant a couple of saplings, nurture them for at least two years and report about their growth.

The saplings are loaded and ready to share. Image by Bombay Lives

The saplings are loaded and ready to share. Image by Bombay Lives

And here comes the online twist. The Times of India reports that the project prefers that the plant owners will have an online profile and using citizen and social media tools like Twitter, blog, Flickr & YouTube, they will report the updates, photos and videos of the growth of the plants.

The campaign was heavily publicized using blogs (Bombay Lives, Mayavi World) and other social media tools like Facebook and the information was tweeted by many users.

skyn3t: The #Sapling Project is today @ 11 AM near Barista, Shivaji Park (Dadar) more info @ Come lets plant a tree :)

gopal_b: Something green social and entrepreneurial and absolutely non profit. Guys and girls in mumbai The #sapling Project

You can get more info at the following Twitter addresses – @ranjit_walunj, @bombaylives and also search using the Twitter hashtag #sapling.

Sapling Unity, Image by Bombay Lives

Sapling Unity, Image by Bombay Lives

The first Sapling Project distribution drive was initiated on the 19th of December, Saturday at Shivaji Park in Mumbai. DNA India reports that over 200 people have joined the movement online and over 60 volunteers turned up on Saturday.

Satish Vijaykumar reports at Mumbai Metblogs with pictures:

We shared around 120 saplings (Neem, Ashoka, Herbal Creepers) to friends who signed up, Housing Societies in Shivaji Park, General Public.

We also planted a few saplings at the Scouts Pavilion.

Would like to thank all the people both Online and Offline who Tweeted , RT’d , Blogged, Invited others on the Facebook & turned up for the cause and volunteered for The Sapling Project.

Netizens planting saplings. Image by Bombay Lives

Planting saplings. Image by Bombay Lives

More pictures are available at the project's Flickr page.

Here are some Twitter reactions from those attended:

AntarYaami: Having fun @ #sapling project. Being educated on neem cultivation

skyn3t: back home from the #sapling project, planted some saplings @ dadar, brought home two neem saplings to save the environment :)

rahulcool: @bombaylives @ranjeet_walunj I planted the saplings as soon as i reached home.!! feeling really proud a really good initiative…#sapling

Transporting Saplings. Image by Bombay Lives

Transporting Saplings. Image by Bombay Lives

Satish concludes:

Today was just a start, we will take the movement further and continue with regular sapling distribution drives in Bombay and other cities.

The target of the project is to plant 10,000 saplings by the end of 2010.

All images in this post have been used with permission


  • sagarika

    The Mumbai Municipal Corporation offers free saplings and advice. Try to get rare, shady, fruit or flowering plants. Usually the Lions and Rotarians are willing to help. Make free fertilizer by starting a compost heap and asking all your neighbors or a restaurant to give you food related waste: leaves, peels, seeds, bones, dairy stuff, hair combings, everything of this type which decays. I used to dig a hole in our plot, fill it with food waste and cover it with mud and then simply move on and dig a new hole. I never dug out the compost or even handled it. I simply composted the whole plot by digging a new hole each time and planted something on top.

    Our household has zero garbage: all biodegradable stuff goes loosely into a bucket and is layered with mud and left in the sun and watered occasionally. No smell and good compost eventually. (Our other garbage consists of few plastic bags and scrap paper which is kept separate and given to the local ragpicker.)

  • Katey

    Loved your post … here is another one which I loved it is an excellent and novel Corporate Social Responsibility initiative started by 141 Sercon; a marketing services company based in Asia with offices all across India and Asia- and as part of this called 1 click 1 tree, they have taken upon themselves to plant 5,000 trees in various places in India in year 2010. However, they just don’t wanna stop at planting a tree- they want people like us to take responsibility of these trees.

    In fact they are doing it in Mumbai as well… you guys should join forces.

  • veeni bhagat

    hello…. Satish,

    After the telephonic conversation with you, i pls request you to reserve around 50 saplings for my CHILDREN ECO-FRIENDLY CLUB…..


  • Kinnari.M.Patel

    Hello Satish,
    I was looking for a site wherein I could get
    some free tree saplings and I came across your site.
    I would like to know if you provide such saplings.
    Being a nature lover,I have always wished to plant trees
    but so far my wish has remained merely a wish.
    As I will be turning 40 I have thought of planting atleast 40
    trees on my birthday.I have decided to plant it
    in my neighbourhood as I can water them and take care of these plants.Hope you fulfil my wish.

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