Smiling Tree: Inspiring Story Of Three Young Green Warriors

The Smiling Tree initiative commenced in January 2012 when Nirbhay Kwatra led 'Go Green Walk' in Lodhi Garden

Smiling Tree: Inspiring Story Of Three Young Green Warriors

The three students of Modern School started Smiling Tree to spread awareness about environment

New Delhi:  When most school kids are busy with their studies, there are some who find time to straddle education with the pursuit of a social good. In Modern School, Barakhamba Road; three siblings Nirbhay, Aarav and Alina Kwatra, for instance, make sure to devote some time for the cause of environment. Even early this month, the three young activists planted over two dozen 'areca palm' trees in their school campus and along with the plants, they also sowed the seeds of green activism in the hearts of children, who were visiting the school from various parts of the world on the occasion of 'Community Development And Leadership Summit'.

The three children have been planting saplings at this annual event for several years now in the school. Besides this, they have carried out an array of plantation drives at various places that include the river bank of Yamuna, colony parks, schools, and an old age home. It was in recognition of these efforts that their initiative, known as 'Smiling Tree', has been nominated for the India's 5,000 Best MSME Awards 2017.

The initiative commenced in January 2012 when Nirbhay Kwatra , oldest of three siblings led 'Go Green Walk' in Lodhi Garden to sensitise the park goers of the need to save the environment by doing their bit of planting trees.

"We have carried out plantation drive on the river bank of Yamuna, at an old-age home called 'Nirmal Hriday' and also planted in the garden of Roshanara Club. We intend to spread the message of saving our environment through our efforts, which might appear tiny, but undoubtedly are persistent and regular," said Nirbhay.

The project of 'Smiling Tree' will complete six years next month and it's because of the longevity of this project that their activism is taking a concrete shape now.

"Earlier we used to only plant saplings and our job used to end there. Later, we realised that tending to the plants is as important as planting. Which is why, we started the practice of engaging volunteers to adopt one plant each, so that most of the saplings that we plant manage to survive," said Mukesh Kwatra, father of three activists.

In the past two years, the kids have planted scores of trees at Roshanara Club and they also roped in some club members to adopt a tree each. "When 18 jawans lost their lives in Uri in September last year, we planted 18 trees in their remembrance and roped in as many members so that there is at least one person each to take care of the saplings," said Nirbhay, a student of class eleven.

Like some of the saplings they planted in the early days of activism, their movement has also now grown bigger. Which is why, the co-founders are now contemplating roping in some professionals so as to scale up.

But how do they manage to bear the cost, we asked. "We have recently set up a commercial unit under the Smiling Tree umbrella. The money that we earn will be ploughed back into philanthropic activities," claims Nirbhay.

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