Greening Solutions- 'Let the Seed Sprout'

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rohit chakravarty

May 10, 2009, 9:12:50 AM5/10/09
to,, delhibirdpix,
Dear All,
            Since last year I have been doing a project as a part of British Council's Indian Climate Champions programme. The project is simple and can be conveniently done anywhere. The summary is as follows..
The neem tree in front of my house bears fruits in summers (as with all other neem trees in nagpur). Birds feed on the fruits and drop the seeds in my balcony (the same happens in many other Indian homes). Had the seeds been dropped on the soil, many of them would've germinated. So the campaign aims at adopting these 'not-so-fortunate' seeds and provide them with a chance to survive and improve the green cover of the city.


Firstly the seeds have to be collected and kept dry till monsoon. strategic locations, seed collections (for neem) can get higher than 50 (!), hence rooftops are the most convenient places to create nurseries. To make things ‘eco-friendlier’, you could devise methods for reusing or recycling water while watering the saplings. I placed a tankie under my water tank, wherein all the water that overflowed got collected in addition to some rainwater. This, I used to water my plants (it surely isn’t the most efficient of methods). Apart from this, some other precautions that need to be taken are-

  1. only seeds of native trees should be planted; exotics and ornamentals to be avoided strictly.
  2. seeds should be kept dry till monsoon.
  3. having a variety in the nursery is preferred.
  4. any kind of chemical fertiliser / pesticide should not be sprayed.
  5. sapling plantation (after 1 year preferably, in monsoon) should be done in suitable areas and not more than 3 saplings of the same species should be planted in a small patch; variety preferred.


The project is cost-effective since seeds are ‘donated’ by birds. Only plastic bags to grow saplings, and in some cases plant sheds need to be bought.
Since getting neem seeds was an easier option for me, I did this project with neem. You can try this out with other locally available seeds as well.
This summer, let us all make a meaningful and effective contribution towards stabilisng our climate! :)
Comments and suggestions are most welcome. It will help in enhancing the effectiveness of the project.
Postscript: I sincerely feel I'm not the only one doing something like this. There might be, and infact there are many people / organisations in India who are collecting dropped neem seeds and sowing them. However, I know none of them. So at the end of the day I do not wish to be dragged into a controversy regarding a stolen idea or publicising my work using other's ideas. I've just given it a name in order to brand it as a campaign and promote it for the cause of tackling climate change.
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