A group of 15 schoolchildren from United India Apartments, a co-operative group housing society in East Delhi’s Mayur Vihar Phase 1 Extension, have been taking care of seven small gardens in the society.
The children have stuck various slogans on the plants on the benefits of planting trees.
Purushottam Das Bhatt, a resident, came up with the idea a couple of months ago. He began by sticking inspirational quotes on trees by well-known personalities. But one day, he decided to involve the children as well. The idea clicked and the children took up the job of maintaining the gardens diligently.
"I think what inspired them was a story I told them," says Bhatt. "APJ Abdul Kalam once had a sparrow, but it flew away. He then had a squirrel, but even that ran away. But when he planted a tree, both the sparrow and the squirrel returned."
Bhatt asked the kids to pick any tree of their own choice and take care of it. And they have.
"Remarkably, even the parents started taking an interest in the trees," Bhatt adds.
Aditi Jain, 13, is the leader of the group. "Our teachers always talking about the importance of trees and how we should protect them for a better future," she says. "I am glad I have the opportunity to take care of a tree. It barely takes 15 minutes a day, but it gives me immense pleasure."