School students increase green cover by ‘seed-bombing’ Biharby Shruthi Venkatesh February 25 2019, 7:34 pm Estimated Reading Time: 2 mins, 20 secs
School children in Bihar are taking initiative in “seed-bombing” their surroundings in order to reverse the fast depleting green-cover of the planet. The depletion has resulted in alarming pollution levels and poor air quality across the state. Down to Earth reports that the state was left with only 9 per cent green cover after Jharkhand was carved out of it in November 2000.
Seed bombing, or in some cases aerial reforestation, is a technique introducing vegetation to land by throwing or dropping seed balls. Today aerial seeding is already regarded as a practical reforestation technique in a few countries. More than a million hectares of well-stocked forests in the United States, Canada, China, Australia, and New Zealand demonstrate its success.
Schoolchildren making the 'seed-bombs' in Bihar (down to earth)
Under the guidance of Tarumitra – a nationwide students’ organization to promote ecological sensitivity in India, the schoolchildren learnt how to make seed balls or bombs. As part of the campaign, the children have been preparing and throwing the seed bombs at various places across the state over the last one year. NGO officials say; that the seeds from the coral tree, sareca indica and myrobalan are mainly used to make seed bombs. They have also used seeds of the banyan, jamun and kadamb trees for the process. The seed balls are mostly thrown during the rainy season to ensure that they geminate properly and absorb moisture from the atmosphere.
The children have seed-bombed areas such as Patna-Buxar, Patna-Gaya and Patna-Deoghar railway tracks. They have also dropped seed bombs along the banks of various rivers, including Ganga and Gandak to create a green wall. “Pollution levels have reached an alarming level here. We are taking a chance to bring it under control through this unique campaign,” Tarumitra director Robert Athickal told Down to Earth. So far, the children have claimed to have dropped more than 20,000 seed bombs across Bihar, and are storing more such seed bombs to do the same during the next rainy season. “More than two million people live in Patna but the city has little or no space for plantation. This is a matter of concern for all of us,” Athickal adds.
This innovative campaign has given a positive response to the government’s initiative to increase the green cover. Media states that the green cover in the state has increased to 15 per cent, while the government plans to further increase it to 17 per cent.
Tarumitra have served for the welfare of the environment in a number of ways. It is said that thousands of schoolchildren have visited the NGO in the last 30 years, since its launch in 1989. They have come together by taking a pledge to work for conserving the environment.