A sabbatical to follow ones passion that offers an opportunity to work for a cause and at the same time travel across all the states and Union Territories is a dream come true for 26-year-old Borivali resident Hari Chakyar.
The content writer and his filmmaker friend Anthony Karbhari,24,will shortly embark on a pan-India tour to plant saplings and encourage the youth to follow an eco-friendly lifestyle. Chakyar has taken a four-month sabbatical
Their Project 35 Trees will involve making at least 40 pit-stops at schools,colleges and other educational institutions where they would interact with students.
I have been involved with green projects for some years now. This project started on a whim. I would read about people who would journey across India to follow their passion. I wanted to scale up my work to such a level. Also,in order to drive home a message otherwise perceived as boring,one needs to be a little crazy, says Chakyar.
This is not the first time that Chakyar is making his contribution to environment conservation.
I grew up in Ambarnath surrounded by woods and greenery. The trees started disappearing over the years. It was then that I decided to plant trees. I started the Nature Baba campaign in 2009,through which I planted 180 trees in Ambarnath,of which 120 continue to thrive. In fact,some have grown taller than me.
He also wrote a streetplay called Nature-baba ko Gussa Kyun Aata Hai in 2009 and performed it at Ambernath railway station. The recent initiative,Chakyar says,is community funded and theres no corporate funding involved.
The idea is to travel across the country,meet interesting groups of people and spread the green message. This will not just be a tree plantation drive. I want to inculcate a sense of perspective and questioning in groups I meet and goad them to live a more green life.
Chakyar says,Do you know that buying and wearing more jeans harms the environment? Or that sea shells one buy from Kanyakumari are actually killing sea creatures?
The journey will begin on October 10 from Daman and the duo will return to Mumbai in January after a four-month tour. The duration of each session will usually be around 60 minutes which will involve showing BBC environment documentaries and a briefing on the movement. This will be followed by interactive sessions with students. We are also planning to meet a lot of NGOs and individuals doing brilliant work for the environment in cities we visit, said Anthony who will be documenting the entire project.
While the project will be kickstarted in a major way soon,the two have already done some trials by travelling to Gujarat and Hyderabad last year.
The project would not end after the tour,in fact we will ask the families and people involved in the plantation drive to keep us updated on the growth of saplings planted, said Chakyar.