CHENNAI: Prasiddhi Singh is unlike other five-year-olds. She has successfully raised Rs 41, 254 on Ketto, a crowdfunding platform for her mission to ‘save flora, fauna and the planet we live in’. The class 1 student from Mahindra World School is an inspiration to people of all ages. Talking to us about how environment-based issues piqued her interest at such a young age, Stuti Singh, Prasiddhi’s mother says, “My husband and I have always been inclined towards fitness, and we introduced Prasiddhi to jogging when she was two years old.
As a family, We participated in a Ridley Run event — for ‘Save the turtles campaign’ in 2015. She was the youngest participant in that event.” Since then, Prasiddhi has been actively taking part in several events, including tree plantation drives, beach cleaning, that promote environmental awareness. “Eventually, she started understanding the impact of pollution and wanted to do her bit to save the planet. We understood her interest in such activities and decided to give her the needed exposure,” shares Stuti.
The cause-driven child has also spent a considerable amount of time being mentored by Hafiz from CommuniTree. “Recently, Mahindra World City, where we live, conducted a ‘one lakh tree plantation drive’ and Prasiddhi used to ask her father almost every day to take her to the field to plant. That’s when we connected with Hafiz. She spent a lot of time with him understanding the way plants grow, how fences save plants from external damages, and why planting is instrumental in keeping the environment thriving,” she says.
After being part of the tree plantation drive, Prasiddhi discussed the possibility of planting another one lakh saplings in the area, with Hafiz, Praveen (her father) and Stuti. “She was determined and had her goal set. But, the scale of the project was quite overwhelming and that’s when Hafiz suggested that we plan it in multiple phases. We started exploring different crowdfunding options and chose Ketto. This is the first phase of a bigger project,” she explains.
Prasiddhi plans to harvest a micro fruit farm to feed the depleting bird population in the city and spread the message on the importance of trees. The idea for such a farm popped when Prasiddhi came across her father’s childhood anecdotes — about climbing trees, eating and enjoying fruits with his friends. “These tales resulted in fruit tree plantations, but her willingness to share it with other kids, especially the underprivileged, made us take this project to government schools to ensure that every child can enjoy the fruit forests,” says Stuti.
Prasiddhi wants to create her own ‘Kids Army’ — where she will plant trees in all the schools and create students club to maintain the trees. “I will monitor those fruit forests regularly,” she says. Prasiddhi’s observation about the depleting bird population comes from quite a startling incident. Narrating the incident, she says, “Sometime back, during a drive with my parents, a few butterflies dotted the windscreen.
I asked my parents, ‘Why do these butterflies come in our way?’ for which they answered, ‘We are coming in the way of birds and butterflies as we have cut a lot of forests and trees. They have lost their habitats.’ I was shocked. Since then, I have been keeping water for birds in my gallery. I want to take baby steps to make a difference.” Prasiddhi’s day starts in the wee hours, with a morning jog along with her father, followed by a gardening session and mantra chanting. She heads to school by 7.30 am, followed by playschool till 7 pm.
“She completes her school work there so that she can spend some quality time with us once she is back. At home, we play indoor/outdoor games and talk about the entire day’s activities. We have dinner together, read some bedtime stories and sleep by 9.30 pm. Our daughter inspires us and we are proud of her,” says Stuti.
Prasiddhi Singh plans to harvest a micro fruit farm to feed the depleting bird population in the city and spread the message on the importance of trees. She wants to create her own ‘Kids Army’ — where she will plant trees in all the schools and create students club to maintain the trees. “I will monitor those fruit forests on a regular basis,” says Prasiddhi. She recently initiated the fruit tree planting in a children’s home in Puducherry. “This month, we will also plant in one of the government schools in Kancheepuram,” says Stuti Singh.