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Carpooling for school children goes digital
New app aggregates private vehicles to get schoolchildren safely home, cutting traffic congestion and pollution in Kolkata GO!

Race against Waste
Enter, the professional waste managersGO!

Saying Trees with Durgesh Agrahari
The "Tree Man" was in Kolkata (Calcutta ) for a 3 day visit GO!

Urban Fruit Forest!

The concept of a food forest has its roots in permaculture, a philosophy that advocates for managing agricultural landscapes in harmony with nature. The practice emphasises perennial, low-maintenance crops that leverage natural nutrient inputs, drainage patterns and climate to achieve a self-sustaining, food-producing ecosystem. A food forest is quite literally a forest that produces food for people (and, most certainly, forest critters) to eat. Nut and fruit-producing trees and shrubs are planted with herbs, vines and ground flora that produce fruits, vegetables, and edible greens and roots. Urban communities are increasingly taking up the practice as a way to put underutilised city land to work and combine urban agriculture goals with goals for open space, recreation, and community development.

Can we create one in Kolkata?

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Krisha Parmar, Environment enthusiast.
Always looking for ways to be greener!
Grow trees... don't just plant them!
A Sunday morning in March saw Green for Life Foundation's tree planting crew with a motley crew of volunteers inagurate Tree Maintenance Events for the city of Kolkata. If these events continue, Kolkata is sure to see its first urban forest, soon!

Kolkata, New Town - On 4 March 2018, about 30 people, an assortment of ages, occupations and cultures, came together to devote their Sunday morning to Mother Earth. After the previous week’s interaction on trees with Mr. Durgesh Agrahari of the Say Trees Foundation, the teams of EarthSmiles.net and Green for Life Foundation decided to invite the public to get their hands on the banks of the Rajarhat canal, in DJ Block, New Town, where Green for Life’s Tree planting campaign with schools is progressing rapidly. Therefore, Kolkata’s first public Tree Maintenance Event!

Word was spread through social media and it was amazing to see how a lot of young, middle-aged and old volunteers turned up at 8 in the morning with their closed-toe shoes and caps on for the event, on a short notice of two days. Finally, about 30 people - buckets, hoes and spades in hand - got into the bed of about 300 saplings, to begin the work.

The main agenda behind the Tree Maintenance Event was to nurture the already-planted saplings (by various schools) and to ensure that every sapling grew into a fully nourished tree so the dream to create Kolkata’s first urban forest would become a reality.

In a span of about 3 hours our volunteers successfully nurtured 40 saplings: circular bunds of an approximate diameter of 2 feet where dug which were deep enough for the water to be restrained around the sapling. After the bunds were made, a few handfuls of compost was added to the soil, covered by a little coca-peat, (which does not decompose for at least 3 months,) which was added to each sapling so that the plant can retain water. Our enthusiastic team of volunteers stepped down on a nearby canal to fetch buckets of water for our saplings.

It was an inspiring sight of teamwork, unity and of course, great fun, where a long relay chain was made by the people to water the tree beds by bringing buckets of water from the canal down the chain, and to the saplings.

After watering the starting trees, dry leaves were collected from the vicinity and added to the bunds as a part of the process called mulching (which is used to retain soil moisture, regulate soil temperature, suppress weed growth, and for aesthetics, too!) With the united teamwork of all our volunteers - which included Mr. Raja Valentine Xavier, Trustee of G4L Foundation, as our eldest team member and Ms. Suhani Thakkar, as our youngest helper - we managed to complete work on 40-plus saplings, giving them a better chance of growth and survival.

A bigger and (better?) installment of the Tree Maintenance Event is scheduled for 18 March 2018, check our social pages (#TME #GrowTrees) to register and get down in the dirt for Mother Earth!

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