HYDERABAD: Just as the role of the army is to maintain peace in the country and protect the lives of the civilians, Nature’s Army’s role is to protect the environment. “Human beings are of no use to nature. To make my life purposeful, I decided to come up with an NGO where I will help people,” says Kiran Devata, founder of Nature’s Army, the city-based NGO which started in 2009.
Nature’s Army is devoted toward protection, conservation and improvement of our Mother Nature and Humanity.
“The NGO works towards nullifying the imbalance caused by us, our society and our people. Our goal is to bring the focus on value and importance of our planet and environment to all human beings,” he says adding, “While I was preparing for supplementary exam in my intermediate, I got enough time to think about other stuff. I kept thinking about things like life, people, God. I realised that each and every creature helps nature in a better way but humans mostly spoil whatever is given to us. In order to help the society, I decided to start the NGO.”
While going through Tank Bund, if you noticed things were a tad more organised during the Ganesh Nimarjan this year, it was because of the combined efforts of Telangana Police and Nature’s Army. The NGO helped the police in controlling the crowds.
Apart from managing the crowd, Kiran also makes sure that people go for eco-friendly Ganesh idols. To do that, he distrubutes clay Ganesh idols among people for free. The idols are made in Kolkata and are brought to Hyderabad in trucks. The production cost of the idols is beared by a city-based sweet shop.
Generally, NGOs first gather its volunteers before they begin to work. But Kiran started his NGO with one of his friends on August 15, 2009, with just a small act of collecting the flags thrown on the ground. He simultaneously made the denizens feel the need for respecting the flag. Later on, he donated blood and posted the picture on a social networking site. Pointing out the power of social media to spread the word, he says, “I realised that people tend to follow their friends by observing their activities on social networking sites. Therefore, I decided to use social media to motivate people to join the NGO.”
While the 23-year-old motivated people to join him using social media, his low marks in Maths-I paper in Intermediate second year brought about the thought of making his life purposeful. He passed Maths-I with 75 per cent marks during his second attempt which made him feel that if he could pass the subject, in which he had failed once, with unexpected marks, he could do anything which made him confident about the NGO’s success.
On the question of how they collect funds, Kiran says, they never encourage donation in the form of money.
“We usually collect `50 from all the volunteers for the events and help people using that money. Apart from that, we are now collecting newspapers from people around the city. We will sell them in scrap and the money we make out of it will be used for the events we are hosting during the ‘Joy of giving week’,” says Kiran who is an MBA student at Amity University, Hyderabad. Elaborating on this, he says that they are collecting newspapers from denizens in the city. “We will donate saplings on October 3 to the people who gave us newspapers. On October 6, we are donating notebooks to children in orphanages. The leftover money will be donated to the city based NGOs which give shelter to the children affected with HIV.”
The NGO has four teams - Red for activities relating to health such as blood donation, Green for pro-environment activities such as planting saplings, Blue for providing aid to orphanages and Yellow for education-related activities such as campaign against child labour.