By Saikarthik R
Chennai Trekking Club was started in 2008 with a motto to introduce outdoor living and adventurous lifestyle for the people of Chennai. CTC gradually expanded as South India’s largest volunteering organisation also focusing on biking, photography, swimming , cycling and running through various events.
Ainthinai the Green wing of CTC was set up in 2012 with a centralized aim on creating a sustainable environment for the future. Nature conservation events like tree plantations and maintenance, clean ups at water bodies, organic and terrace farming, workshops on waste management and plastic free lifestyle form an integral part of Ainthinai.
Green Day the annual event of Ainthinai is held with Afforestation as the theme. With the Concrete jungles expanding and urbanization spreading like wild fire there is no green cover to absorb the carbon emission from the mechanized world.
In the first edition of Green day, 1000 tree saplings were planted at Thennery near Kancheepuram and in 2015 1500 saplings were planted at a reserve forest in Siruvanjur off Padappai. In the next edition of Green day more than 1000 native saplings like Palm, Banyan, Pungai, Marutham, Naaval, Illupai, Karuvelam, Neem etc were planted at Kambarajpuram near Walajabad, Kancheepuram on Sept 4th 2016. All the green day events have been a collaborated event with the Tamilnadu Govt. Forest department. Also , the first of its kind in a forest environment, drip irrigation system has been installed to water the saplings using recycled plastic water bottles.
Tree walk sessions by eminent environmentalists and botanists were conducted at Madras Christian College, Nanmangalam Reserve forests, Nizhal Park Kotturpuram, Theosophical society, Adyar and Yerungadu Arboretum at Eiledu, Madhuranthagam.
Clean Ups were conducted at Heritage sites around Chennai as as part of a mission to preserve the rich cultures of our ancestors. Brahmadesam, Ayyangarkulam and Mahabalipuram are some of the heritage sites that were cleaned.
With the support of Highways Department of TN we were able to conduct plantation drives at Velachery, Guindy (Anna Univ), Avadi and OMR. More than 1000 saplings have been planted in various drives and are being maintained periodically.
After the tropical Storm Vardah, Chennai lost most of the golden green cover. We began our mission towards recovering the lost by analyzing lot of options and are working on a high level plan. Natural Calamities cannot be controlled, but to re spawn and fix the loss is in our hands.
Ainthinai has the habit of taking care of the budding trees. Maintenance activities will be organised for approximately one year where volunteers will be involved in removing weeds, mulching, manuring, digging water holes etc around the saplings. As a result of these maintenance activities the saplings planted during the previous years have shown a survival rate of 75 to 80 percent. The automated and engineered life is engulfing even the remote areas of the world which might result in an environment that may not support a healthy living for the generations to come. CTC and Ainthinai are working tirelessly in breaking these walls from the daily lifestyle of the common man and exposing them to an arena of happy and healthy and a living.