Many parts of t he hills have suffe red from 1deforestation . Trees and vegetation formerly used as medicine, timber and for making useful items such as baskets and ropes were no longer available.In order to restore the forest, we are planting trees on large tracts of empty land within the village boundaries. These areas are called Gramvans (or village forests). We have started a nursery as a source for this plantation activity.
Over 70-80 varieties of saplings have been grown in the Khadki center nursery. Over the last five years, we have cultivated @50,000 saplings every year. Over 47 gramvans have been developed over 45 acres of land. We focus on placing gramvans in areas where agriculture is impossible, but within the village boundaries. The people voluntarily manage the responsibility of nurturing the saplings, including cordoning off the area with thorny bushes to prevent livestock from feeding on the newly planted saplings.
In Khadhi, women from nearby villages took care for the saplings, planting, watering, fencing and weeding. They receive Rs. 3 per sapling grown as a recognition of their contribution. During last 13 years, 434,720 saplings are prepared at the Khadki center.
The farmers in the hills of Dharampur usually take only one harvest during the monsoon season, However, by the introduction of dams, embankments and the leveling of land now allows the farmers to have an additional crop during winter season.
We providedes the seeds to the farmers for winter corp. Now, many farmers in this area have started growing brinjals, bitter gourdand other vegetables for a second crop. This has added their yearly income.
During last 13 years, we have distributed @ 27,000 Kgs of seeds at subsidised rate in about 31 villages