Planting trees and gardens to honor Earth Day 2019
April 22, 2019
Around the world members of AYUDH, our youth movement, are taking further action to help humanity return to balance with nature. In terms of personal development, it is their wish to connect on a deeper level with the environment. On this year’s Earth Day, the focus was one of the essential elements—to plant trees and gardens.
In Kerala for example, AYUDH continued a tree-planting initiative that takes place across the state. Vishuthaineettam (the Fruit Garden Project) is celebrated with Vishu, an age-old tradition in the state which celebrates the coming of spring.
Vishuthaineettam started five years ago, when the Mata Amritanandamayi Math and AYUDH added a new element—the distribution of saplings for youth to plant in their communities. As of today, AYUDH volunteers in Kerala have distributed more than 350,000 saplings.
This year, Amma distributed thousands of saplings to AYUDH volunteers at a gathering in Amritapuri. She then instructed about the urgency surrounding the lack of harmony between humankind and nature. She emphasized that it is only through united efforts that harmony can be restored.
“Every natural disaster is a warning to humanity to correct our mistakes if we want to avoid bigger calamities,” she explained. “Let our children plant and nurture these saplings. We must protect plants, trees and every other living being, understanding them to be a part of us.”
For 2019, Amma added a new aspect to Vishuthaineettam—giving bird feeders to AYUDH members to include in their deliveries to local households. Amma emphasized that the birds are also in need of shelter, food and water.
"Whether you are university students or schoolchildren, it is Amma’s dream and desire that all of you take part in this new initiative," she said. "Let us plant a sapling for our Mother Earth, our next generation, and for a better tomorrow."
Meanwhile for Earth Day 2019, AYUDH members in Pune, Maharashtra planted trees native to their area along a major riverside. Some of the saplings had been shown to Amma when she was in Pune on her North India Tour at the end of February.
The group said their goal was to celebrate the fact that trees are the best monuments humanity can erect in their own legacy because they are a blessing to our children yet unborn. Trees hold critical keys to supporting the world’s future environment.
According to UNESCO's Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development, they boost carbon capture, which brings associated benefits for biodiversity, food security, livelihoods and rural economies. AYUDH Pune also said that for them, every day is Earth Day and they look forward to a time when all human beings care about the Earth as much as they care about their own personal needs.
In Mangaluru, AYUDH organised a seed ball making event this past Sunday, naming it “Play in the Mud Like a Kid”. They collected varieties of wild fruit seeds that attract birds and animals in their geographical location. Due to deforestation, the health of many of these trees and the quality of their fruits have declined.
To reverse this trend, the youth decided to start by making this small effort. They rolled mud balls in their hands while working in the seeds. The seed balls will be dispersed in public areas where the trees and plants can grow well. At the end of the day, AYUDH Mangaluru created a total of 700 seed balls.
These are only a few of the events that AYUDH youth held for Earth Day 2019. As another example, 40 AYUDH from across the US were in Atlanta, Georgia to discuss their goals for the coming year. As part of the event, they planted trees and garden plants. For AYUDH, efforts such as these continue around the world every day of the year. Since 2000, the Mata Amritanandamayi Math and AYUDH have planted more than one million trees as part of the United Nation’s Billion Tree Campaign.