CM launches 25 million tree planting initiative

23rd Sept, Chennai India

The second mass planting initiative of Project Green Hands commenced on 23rd September 2007 in a grand event, organized by the volunteers of Isha at Anna University Grounds, Chennai.

The campaign was launched by the Chief Minister Dr M Karunanidhi by planting the first sapling in the presence of Sadhguru, Founder of Isha Foundation.

It may be recalled that the first such drive of Project Green Hands that was organized on 17 October, 2006 was also flagged by the Chief Minister. With this, Isha Foundation set a Guinness World Record for planting 852,587 saplings on a single day in 6284 locations, in 27 districts with the participation of 250,000 people all over Tamil Nadu.

This year, the Project has set an ambitious target of 25 million saplings.

Expressing his appreciation and respect for spiritual leaders like Sadhguru, who did not ignore social work, Dr Karunanidhi said, “When I think of how much the earth would prosper if all spiritual leaders were like this, I breathe a sigh of relief.” He said, history books are full of examples of great kings like Ashoka and Akbar who planted trees but today it was the spiritual leaders who are among those working towards fulfilling this urgent need.

The Chief Minister stressed the significance of massive tree planting, saying, “If we take care of trees, they will take care of us,” as more trees would lead to more rain and better crops. Comparing Chennai with greener cities like Delhi and Bangalore, he jokingly said, “Here people have put up huge hoardings and banners on the roads instead.” He applauded the dedication of the numerous Isha volunteers and their ability to touch and mobilize people.

Marveling at the mammoth audience, he said, “We are a great organization with several ministers, officers and cadre at various levels but even we cannot gather such a huge crowd as Isha has done on a single day.” His daughter, Smt. Kanimozhi, poetess, Member of Parliament and a budding leader of Tamil Nadu, accompanied him. Launching the Project Green Hands campaign and releasing Isha’s new Tamil monthly magazine Kaattu Poo, she said, “Spirituality is not just about God, it is something that touches and transforms human life, which is being done wonderfully by Sadhguru and the many volunteers inspired by him.”

Expressing concern for the environment, she said, “The world belongs to future generations, not to us. But in the name of progress and economic development, we are gradually destroying the earth.” She said it was nightmarish to think of what would happen to future generations when even the ground water is slowly getting poisoned.

Popular singer Kalaimamani Sudha Raghunathan welcomed the gathering.

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