VoW 2019 / Sessions / November 15 / RSTF-1 Welcome Address by Rajendra Dobhal and felicitation of Sachidanandan Bharti RST Awardee, IMI
There are many things which seem unachievable. We dream of a lot of things which are not within our grasp but there are people who believe on the contrary. History is an evidence of people who have turned the notion of impossible to possible. And there’s a person who has done the same, turned impossible into possible, and has gained a splendid breakthrough simply through his hardwork and determination.
He is Sachidanandan Bharti who hails from Uttarakhand. He was invited by the R S Talia Forum for the first time in Valley of Words Fest,2019, and heartily congratulated for what he has done for the society and nature. The welcome address began with Binita Shah, welcoming Sachidanandan Bharti and acknowledging his benign presence. Rajendra Dobhal, the Director General of UCOST, shed personal insight on the life of Mr. Bharti and called him a “revolutionary environmentalist.”
Sachidanandan Bharti is a school teacher by profession but has planted over 15 lakh trees in 150 villages. Rajendra Dhobal also mentioned about Mr. Bharti’s humility as a person as he knows him since 2009. He was felicitated with a white robe by Vivahpuri Das and took over the mic.
Sachidanandan Bharti foremost thanked his professor, then expressed his deep gratitude in simple words towards the collective help he received from women all over Uttarakhand who helped him raise 15 lakh trees all together. He addressed the problem of lack of water, deforestation and utter cruelty humans seek, after they have nothing left to eat or drink. Because of these factors, he said, has led people to move towards different jungles and looting the people settled nearby.
“1979 was an inspirational year for me. That’s when I thought that ‘Har gaaon ka apna jangal hona chaiye’.” He said. This is how his journey began, forty years of sprightly planting trees over 150 villages. Amidst this, he was also able to empower women of the villages who in turn helped him by mobiling themselves like a “green army” or the supporters of afforestation.
“Also, we must realise the power of networking. When I started working, I wasn’t sure if I was going to receive any support or not. But when people realised that this is what is needed and is the need of the hour, they joined me on my journey without any second thoughts.” He said. “I was recently felicitated in Shillong by IMI. Lot’s of discussion ensued after my work. Then people started mentioning that this can work in the tea plantations in Assam. Similarly, someone else said that wow, this could also work in the apple gardens of Himachal Pradesh!”.
Thus he emphasized the significance and importance of networking and sharing our individual attempts of reforming something which might deem impossible at first, but is actually not. The session was concluded with a vote of thanks, dedicated to IMI and the whole team of Vow fest who were able to bring people, from all walks of life to dialogue to talk about issues which are pertinent and require immediate attention.
-Megha Chaudhary, St. Stephens, New Delhi