14 November 2008

AKSP -- 2009

Arunachala Greening -- Report by Apeetha Arunagiri

"As everyone can see, the hill is definitely greener now.

Ramana photo taken in mid 40's

Photo taken at same spot in 2006

The Arunachala Kattu Siva Plantation is a registered Trust engaged for the past six years on restoration work contributing to the ongoing task of greening the Holy Hillock. The artesian reserves surrounding Arunachala desperately need regeneration so that the children of the future have good water here; the only way is by a reforested hill.

The Managing Trustee of AKSP - Apeetha Arunagiri, initiated the now very evident greening process by forming The Arunachala Reforestation Group in the mid eighties, which later became The Annamalai Reforestation Society. Her intention in originating this smaller project (AKSP) was to confront the social aspects of ecology that require a different structure than that imposed by the structure of ARS. For this reason indigenous rural women and men are engaged from the villages close to the project site on the more protected western slopes of the hill; the thrust of the project is to enable these workers to develop a keen working consciousness of taking responsibility for restoration work in the face of our savage civic environmental problems, on behalf of their own community.

We have learned much by our experience in the past six years. Now in 2009 we are poised for a shift into higher gear:

- our workers are ready for further training out of station where they will transform their capacities and meet other persons engaged in the global struggle towards ecological health,

- many of them are now capable of taking supervisory roles and there is plenty of work to engage seasonal labourers on essential reconstruction ground work as well as plantation in season,

- land has been offered us for a second nursery on the Adianamalai side of the hill so that we can begin plantation there. This land needs to be developed now and in addition the slopes on that side need drastic water conservation strategies.

One of our Trustees - Mr. Kasiviswanathan, is an organic farming specialist who fortuitously purchased this land many years ago. We hope eventually to create a chapter of the Trust to develop a model organic farm adjacent to the nursery. When Kasiviswanathan was working as a Permaculture and Organic Farming teacher in ARS he had the opportunity to train several persons who we are hoping to engage on this work. The view of Arunachala from this site is shown to the right above.

Although the fire problem has diminished and the hill does appear greener, the area still to be planted is vast. We encourage those with the hill in their hearts to consider their capacity to contribute towards the support and development of this work into the future. We invite you to visit our website to learn more about the project operations - details of which are given here below."

Contact Details:
Project Manager: Hari Prasad in Thiruvannamalai (telephone 09362152674; General Trustees: Kannan in Thiruvannamalai (telephone 09443435830) and Kasiviswanathan in Hyderabad (09490690792)

Email: arunachalagreening@gmail.com
Website: www.hotkey.net.au/~apeetha/index.html

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