Villagers of Shikarpur near National Capital Delhi are planting saplings in the memory of those who died of COVID-19, reported The New Indian Express. In the recent onslaught of COVID-19 during the second wave, around 30 families in the village lost at least one of their family members.
The idea of planting trees in memory of loved ones came from the idea that the trees will benefit the village in the future.
Rinku Tyagi, a 25-year-old resident of Shikarpur, lost both his grandfather and mother in a week during the second wave. He told The New Indian Express, "Those who were destined to depart left us. Hence, the thought of remembering them in the best possible way, which can later benefit the village."
Seventeen-year-old Aayushi Tyagi shares a similar sentiment. She says that the plantation drive has been accepted by the villagers the motive of the drive is positive. She believes that those who departed would be happier to see trees being planted in their memories instead of erecting statues of them.
The roots of the idea
Gulshan Tyagi, who works in the Delhi Police, first came up with the idea of the plantation drive. His partner in the initiative, Paras Tyagi, told The New Indian Express, "The concept of plantation of lakhs of trees by the government is never successful because samplings are never cared for due to cost of maintenance. Plantations by families in their farms and own land will take care of these challenges. We found this socially relevant and environmentally sustainable,"
Following the success of the campaign in Shikarpur, several villages in the nearby area have launched a similar initiative of planting trees. Issapur has set a goal of planting 10,000 trees, and villages like Dhansa, Malikpur and Ujwa have also started plantation drives.