VRIKSHIT FOUNDATION: a hope for change

A group of young people trying their best to change the world on weekends- this is the story of the Vrikshit foundation.

Introduction:

A group of young people trying their best to change the world on weekends- this is the story of the Vrikshit foundation.

Vrikshit foundation was started with an aim for a cleaner and greener Delhi. Their aim was not only to conduct plantation drives but to get rid of the litter and bridge the sanitation gap. Our country is definitely not infamous for the heaps of garbage and the filthy living conditions. In Delhi, there are always discussions about who has the responsibility to clean the garbage. Is it the Delhi government or the MCD’s? 

The challenge of waste- management in India:

Waste management is a huge challenge in an overpopulated country like India. According to the Environmental Performance Index (2020), India ranks 177 out of 180. There are several loopholes in our waste disposal system. Out of all, the main thing is awareness of the common people. If we as citizens learn how to dump and take care of our waste this problem would not arise at all.

Vrikshit team at a cleanliness drive
Vrikshit team at a cleanliness drive

A 24-year-old Shankar Singh was very keen to work for the cleanliness of the country. Shankar Singh is a computer engineering graduate from the Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram University of Science and Technology, Murthal. Shankar used to be busy on weekdays, but on weekends he made a point to do his bit for the environment. 

The beginning of Virikshit Foundation:

team Vrikshit beautifying a wall
Vrikshit team beautifying a wall

Shankar wanted to clean up the Yamuna river after he saw the state. He initially contacted his 2 childhood friends and 2 or 3 of his tuition students. This is how t5hey started with the idea of the ‘Vrikshit foundation’. After they posted a few pictures online about their endeavors, they got many messages encouraging them. Some people also curiously enquired about their next events so that they could contribute.

Started in September 2019, in one region of Delhi, Vrikshit foundation has now spread its wings in 15 states and more than 250 locations across India. 

The organization usually carries out its work on weekends so many youths can join them. After doing some physical surveys a location is selected. Sometimes, they are specifically requested by some citizens to come and work in their localities.

 

The Working of the Foundation:

As the time and location of the event get finalized, a form is released through their social media. Volunteers can register themselves and participate through it. Each and everyone is welcome to come and be a part of this event. 

Once all the volunteers arrive at the cleaning site, they are provided with gloves, masks, shovels and other gear. The waste is further segregated and further sent to the municipality for further treatment.

Now the question arises about what happens to these places in a few days? Won’t the garbage return back there?

The team not only cleans the area but also makes it a point to make the locals aware of the importance of cleanliness. Sometimes, even the locals join them to help clean. This all has proven to change the mindsets of people to some extent. Such areas have started now implementing different strategies to help keep their area clean and green. 

Help during Covid-19:

Before Covid, they had been to cities outside of Delhi like Jaipur, Ajmer, Amritsar, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Chennai. Not only cleaning but they have taken the work of plantation of trees and also beautification of places upon themselves. 

“With our continuous efforts we were able to clean two rivers, Haiderpur Canal and Saroornagar Lake in Hyderabad,” Singh said.

They had also partnered up with Zomato to feed and provide school shoes for underprivileged kids in 15 states. 

The foundation also came forward to help during the Covid pandemic. They provided food, medical kits and free medical assistance.

“We have been providing ration kits to the poor families who are vulnerable to losing or have lost their source of income due to the pandemic. These include 800 families of sex workers residing at GB Road, Delhi, and about 3,500 families of migrant labourers in different locations of Bihar, including Araria, Patna, Supol, Katihar, and Muzaffarpur,”- says Shankar.

Collection of funds:

The Vrikshit Foundation not only focuses on saving the environment but also covers various other topics. Personal awareness- to be aware of shortcomings within oneself. The difference between Good Vs Bad touch. Impart sex education in kids to have an effect early age. Women empowerment- the matru shakti factor is the most important. A child’s happiness is the most crucial way to channel their energy and thoughts. Improve the sanitary conditions of the people in need. Education is a boon and mandatory for all to better a future. 

Being an NGO, initially, we faced a lot of challenges especially regarding funds. All the volunteers are welcome to donate an amount according to their convenience. Many people can also make a voluntary donation to them, here.

Conclusion:

“I have participated in more than 35 drives so far. And, the amount of satisfaction I derived from cleaning these places and making way for better public health was immense,”- says Tanya Gupta, a volunteer.

Members of Vrikshit
Members of team Vrikshit

With a family of 3000+ volunteers, the Vrikshit Foundation has been instrumental in cleaning more than 250 locations across India. Their work has also been appreciated by more than 50 celebrities and has received media coverage nationwide. They also look forward to working with the Delhi government on further projects. “We are driven by the zeal to create a sustainable change through micro-level voluntary action.”- statement by the Vrikshit Foundation.


To further support them check them out on,
www.vrikshitfoundation.com

Support them as volunteers, https://www.vrikshitfoundation.com/JoinVrikshit 

Read about more such change-makers:

The “House of Hope” and its sustainable story

Tripti and her Sampurnam Foundation; giving new faith to idols

Bipin Dhane – an IITian quits his Singapore job to teach poor kids in Assam | Change Makers

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