Realising the existential threat posed by air pollution to human and planetary health, Kolkata’s Biswajit Majumder started exploring ways a common man can contribute to mitigating pollution.

“We as responsible citizens should focus on what we can do at our end,” says the 47-year-old.

So alongside his job, the engineer started planting trees in 2022. He also led citizens in Newtown Kolkata to plant 1,000 trees to mitigate rising air pollution in the city.

Biswajit shares tips for citizens on how they can replicate the plantation drive in their cities.

Instead of planning a massive plantation drive on one particular day, Biswajit says to include it in the daily exercise regime.

“Convert a part of your exercise regime into this physical activity. It is a fun activity where you do a lot of digging, fetching water, etc,” he says.

Break the barrier of shyness. “First day will be odd, but the second day will be a pleasure,” he says. Engage a close friend in the activity.

Identify public places such as dividers and parks that are not well-maintained.

Plant native trees. Ensure its survival by watering it regularly during the morning exercise regime. Look after it for at least a year.

Plan another plantation drive at another location. Engage local people like auto drivers, who will remain at that place to water the saplings. “Makethem feel as if this is their plant.”