Residents of Piplantri, Rajasthan. After unexpectedly losing his young daughter, village sarpanch Shyam Sundar Paliwal was struck by grief. Unable to perform his duties as the village’s head, the entire village came up with a unique solution to help him.

In a heartwarming gesture, they planted a tree in her name as a tribute to her. Moved by the gesture, the sarpanch landed on his feet and decided to plant 111 trees for every girl child that takes birth in the village. What was once a water-deficient village has now turned into a green oasis with 3,51,000 different varieties of trees like mango, sheesham (North Indian rosewood), banyan, and peepal.

Residents of Kulalwadi, Maharashtra Bhaktaraj Garje came to Kulalwadi village of Sangli district in Maharashtra as a primary school teacher. Looking at the water scarcity in the area, he started planting trees in the school and started educating the villagers about the importance of trees for rainfall.

Soon, he convinced the villagers and they came together to plant trees on barren lands. Today, the village has 25,000 fruit-bearing trees in 500 orchards. The villagers also started digging trenches, building boulders, small check dams and other water conservation structures to arrest rainwater wastage, saving 23 crore litres of water.

Dwellers of Akshaya Nagara, Bangalore A rather unassuming locality that did not fall under the Bengaluru metropolitan civic body, BBMP did not have public facilities like water supply, sewage drain pipes or garbage collection service.

However, instead of sitting and lamenting their problems, the residents of the locality decided to do something about it. A retired bank official named Ramesh Kumar began mobilising interest among the residents about the need to save the lake and the surrounding environment.

They formed a team of volunteers and named it ‘Akshaya Nagara Kere Sutta Mutta’ and got together every week to plant trees, make side walks, clean, de-weed and fence the lake. Today, over 400 people walk and jog around Akshaya Nagara Lake every day.

Residents of Newtown, West Bengal Another community that came together to make the environment better in the locality. Biswajit Majumder, a resident of New Town, started a movement to plant 1,000 trees by engaging the citizens.

Since its launch in May, the citizens were able to plant 1,000 saplings by November 2022. Of these saplings planted, 850 have survived.

‘Green Army’ of Chennai Envisioned by Krishnakumar S, the founder and CEO of the NGO Thuvakkam, saw the reduced green cover of the city after the 2016 cyclone. He wanted to use the Japanese Miyawaki forest technique to restore the green cover.

He mobilised the police department, local bodies and other government agencies with the help of 1,800 who worked on creating multiple plantations. Over the years, the group was able to plant 10 forests in Chennai and 15 others are stretched across Thiruvallur, Kanchipuram, Tuticorin, Vellore and other districts.

Dwellers of Bengaluru, Karnataka When BMRCL, the local metro authority of Bengaluru, had to pull down 115 trees in Whitefield for the construction of a new metro line, a group of inspired citizens and a hospital came together to save them.

The citizens, along with Vijay Nishant, also known as the Tree Doctor of Bengaluru, found a unique and scientific way of saving those trees. They successfully transplanted 108 trees from Whitefield to Sathya Sai Hospital.

Villagers of Dharhara in Bihar Another such example when the villagers came to nature’s rescue is the story of Dharhara Village of Bihar.

To tackle the issue of declining sex ratios, and increasing global warming in the area, 8000 villagers decided to start planting at least 10 fruit-bearing trees like mango on the birth of each girl child. Today, the village has become a green oasis with more than 20,000 fruit-bearing trees.