8 December 2006

AKSP Report

Two consecutive years of good rains the like of which have not been seen by Arunachala for decades has made the Hill this Deepam, 2006 present a luscious luxuriance unprecedented at least within the last thirty years.

For three months leading up towards Deepam, rain has fallen most days. Locals of the unsophisticated culture see this wetness and discomfort as a sure sign that Arunachala Siva very much likes his new green 'duds' better than the old brown ones, even if 'It' is the Fire Lingam of South India!

We have not had an appreciable fire for two summers, thanks to the community participation fostered very largely by our two District Forest Officers (DFOs), Messrs. Pasupathiraj and Mani, who have recently been transferred and were tremendously encouraging and helpful to all engaged in the Greening of Arunachala. In fact The Arunachala Kattu Siva Plantation owes its very existence to these excellent DFOs.

Arunachala now has a new DFO (District Forest Officer), Mr.Yuvalraj. Mr.Yuvalraj will be promoted to Conservator around this time next year, which means that he will be sent elsewhere within a year from now. Then it will be opportune for us to meet the incoming DFO, introduce our project, and request him to encourage and support us. Our continuance is always dependent upon the discretion firstly of our local DFO, secondly of our Conservator in the Divisional Headquarters in Vellore, and thirdly of our Principal Chief Conservator in Chennai.

This is the way it has to be because forests are so desperately in need of protection, not only just at Arunachala and in India, but also internationally; Forests are our lifeline.

The Arunachala Kattu Siva Plantation has permission to plant on the Hill within the area designated Reserve Forest; this area is off-limits to other than Forestry Department personnel unless special permission is given. Very Good Reasons promote this structure. Within this special permission which we have been given, we in turn honour the original, cognitively competent considerations behind it. The Arunachala Kattu Siva Plantation is very happy to be planting on Reserve Forest because in this way we are enabled to work without disturbance.

Nevertheless, if we re-forested the entire hill, with a forest that flourished for decades and replenished the underground water table to surface level, then despite our intentions on behalf of the generations to come: within ONE summer night the entire forest could EASILY, be destroyed by one match at the hand of ignorance.

No matter how green we see the garments of Arunachala Siva from year to year, we just have to remember that in the summer months of the climate of the Fire Lingam, when 'Its' body is tinder and there are many excuses for arson, all could well be lost within one night and all the efforts towards the Greening would be rendered pure unadulterated vanity.

[By Apeetha Arunagiri]

For more information about the Arunachala Kadu Shiva Plantation and Apeetha Arunagiri please check out their link at: http://www.aksp.org/

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