NGO Kalam Arakkattala has achieved a rather amazing feat. In one year, they have managed to grow a forest. Yes, you read that right!
Kulleygoundapalayam, near Avinashi, on the outskirts of Coimbatore, is sure to leave you spell-bound. This is thanks to an unusually dense green patch of land in the village. This small forest has been grown on a 22-cent plot of land with the support of local villagers.
The NGO achieved this through the Miyawaki method, which was put forth by Akira Miyawaki. Miyawaki is a Japanese botanist and ecologist, who has been planting forests along the coastline of Japan to protect it from Tsunamis and soil erosion.
The 89-year-old has spent his entire life promoting native forests and has already planted over 40 million trees in more than 15 countries.
“We wanted to set up an ecological system, where animals, reptiles, birds and insects find space for all of their activities right from feeding to roosting. The plant species we selected were mostly native. Many are fruit-bearing, like Indian fig, tulip, pomegranate, guava and water apple,” said one of the founders of the NGO, in a report in The Times of India.
A youth from the village told the publication, “Even we did not expect this much growth after just a year. As the trees have such a dense growth, it is not easy for people to enter the forest. We have found many reptiles including snakes inside Adarvanam. Some birds have set up nests and even laid eggs.”
Many in India have adopted this method. One such successful adoptee is Shubhendu Sharma, who left his high paying job as an engineer to plant trees for the rest of his life.
Using the unique Miyawaki methodology to grow saplings, Afforestt, which is the organisation started by Shubhendu, converts any land into a self-sustainable forest in a couple of years. He has successfully created 33 forests across India in two years.
With green cover reducing rapidly in Indian cities, compact urban forests like these could provide some much-needed respite.