What started off as a citizens’ initiative to save a dying hill in NIBM two years ago completed a chapter of success Sunday when Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar inaugurated a park at the same place which was once devoid of trees and filled with garbage. Anandvan (Forest of Joy), which stands on a hill near Cloud 9 society, was conceptualised by 59-year-old Praveen Kumar Anand, who, for more than a year, picked up the garbage and watered the plants all by himself. He was later joined by people from nearby areas to form Anandvan Mitra Mandal (AVMM). Sunday, the name of AVMM was changed to Ananvan Paryawaran Mandal (AVPM).
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Javadekar, praising the initiative by the citizens of NIBM, said that every city should emulate the example of Anandvan. He declared that the ministry would financially assist the park for further infrastructure developments. Initially, a fund of Rs 3 crore would be made available for building a fence to the park and create a jogging track. He also announced that the forest-park, which already has a ‘Nakshatra Watika’, a small garden containing 17 medicinal plants mentioned in Ayurveda, would be turned into an Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants Demonstration Centre; which would receive help from the ministry of AYUSH. The union minister also inaugurated a lake based on the concept of rain water conservation inside the park.
Talking on the occasion, Anand said, “Environment minister Javadekar’s decision to name this place as Ayurvedic Plants Centre is important for us. From now on, we would focus on expanding our limited collection of Ayurvedic pants.” Anand further added that AVPM had expected a financial help worth Rs 75 lakh; however with Rs 3 crore, a park of international standard can be built on the 35 acre land.