‘Athijeevanam’ brings together people from across the globe to do their part for nature!
On 5 June, World Environment Day, hundreds of people with and without disabilities planted trees as part of ‘Athijeevanam’ project initiated by ‘Team Prajahitha’. Trees were planted by people from across the globe between 5 to 8 June. This was indeed a novel and beautiful initiative to save the environment that is currently going through huge crisis.
‘The Earth is what we all have in common’, the quote by Wendell Berry is indeed one that must be remembered during these tough times. The environment is going through numerous problems due to pollution, over-population, deforestation and excess of plastic waste. That is why it is high time for everyone to step up and do their bit to save nature. In the inclusive project ‘Athijeevanam’, people with and without disabilities initiated to plant a tree to show their support towards nature and protect environment. The project was held as part of ‘World Environment Day’ on 5 June by ‘Team Prajahitha’. ‘Athijeevanam’ was indeed a success with hundreds of people part-taking in it.
What makes it one-of-a-kind
Volunteers who were part of ‘Athijeevanam’ vouched to plan least 10,000 trees worldwide between 5 to 8 June. There are two main objectives behind it. One is to heal the wound of the earth that is bleeding due to problems created by man. Secondly, ‘Athijeevanam’ aims to show the world that disabled people can equally contribute to the society.
‘Athijeevanam’ had the support of Malayalam superstar Unni Mukundan too. He took to his social media to share details about ‘Athijeevanam’ and assured his full support towards the cause. People with and without disabilities from across the world have been part of this beautiful, green project.
“Society is prejudiced. Many people think that disabled people cannot do many things. So we want to show them that nothing is impossible for us. We do not have any limitations”, says Krishnakumar PS, a wheelchair user who was part of the project. Krishnakumar is a leading disability rights acitivist from Kerala.
He points out about the ongoing virus threat and how the world has changed due to Coronavirus. “Very soon, a vaccine might be created for Coronavirus. But why do crisis like these happen always? Some other virus might affect us soon. So we want a permanent solution. Nature must be protected at any cost. If we grow more plants and trees, we can limit the destruction to a large extend”, he says.
‘Team Prajahitha’ has been trying to spread the word as much as possible. “When we tried to contact a wheelchair user from USA, he told us that such a project is not practical. But we have successfully done it. People from across the world has been part of ‘Athijeevanam’”, says Krishnakumar.
Save nature, plant a tree
Over 4000 people have taken part in the initiative. Amongst them are Dhanya Ravi and Sharada Devi.
Dhanya, a wheelchair user who was diagnosed with Brittle Bone Disease is a disability rights activist.
“I would say planting a tree is a way of giving back to nature in a selfless manner. Nature is our mother who protects us. That is how I see it. The more we get closer to nature, the more it will help us nourish in life and flourish. We know how nature is healing now. I’am a person who is highly prone to bronchitis. So by protecting nature, I’am taking care of my health too. A few of my friends including disabled people and volunteers from across the globe have participated”, she says.
Sharada, a Ph.D scholar who is a wheelchair user says, “I think the significance of this year’s world environment day is great because the whole world is now going through a critical phase. We are all battling against Coronavirus. It is a struggle for survival. The lockdown period has brought many of us closer to nature. I was invited by Dhanya Ravi to join this venture. It brings out the fact that disabled people can also play a decisive role in environment conservation”.
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