TIRUCHY: Proving that in every adversity lies an opportunity are the youngsters of Malvai village in the district. Jumping into action when the Covid-19 lockdown was first imposed in March last, the group has not only gone on to improve the green cover of their village by planting over a 1,000 saplings and tending to them, they have also restored a canal and renovated a government school toilet.
The group, which includes school boys, came together under the banner of 'Pasumai Puratchi' (green revolution) to plant saplings by ponds, lakes and temples in their village in Lalgudi taluk. The saplings planted include neem, banyan, peepal, and jamun. They also planted over 1000 palm seeds on the banks of waterbodies. The saplings have been protected by fencing and are watered daily.
Apart from this, the youth, and their friends working abroad, raised money and provided water and toilet facilities to the Malvai Government Higher Secondary School. They also restored a canal of a Mangulam (pond), a much-needed effort.
Speaking of their initiative, M Muthaiyan, a youngster in the village, said, "We are already suffering from climate change and air pollution as we destroy nature. In such a situation, many trees in our village are being destroyed. Thus, in an effort to restore nature, we plant trees and maintain them by watering them daily with a truck.” Mentioning the many benefits of growing the varieties they had planted, he added that palm trees are drought-resistant and aid in preventing soil erosion.
"We protect the saplings as cattle can damage them. School boys also take care of them daily with interest. School and college holidays came as a good opportunity. Using this we are able to meet the needs of the village," Muthaiyan said.
Another youngster, R Padmanathan said, "We have removed thorny plants and restored Mangulam's canal about 1 km away. The pond was used for drinking water purposes 20 years ago, but now it has been encroached upon. The government should take action to recover it and bring it back for public use."
Mentioning that many of the saplings they planted have grown to a height of over three feet, Padmanathan said that they will continue to work on improving the green cover of the village. Growing more trees will save us and the next generation, he added.