Green Uplift

  • Maninder Dabas / FG
  • India
  • Dec 21, 2012

Uthaan, an NGO, is primarily known for ‘greening the road sides’. “We believe that greenery in the mainstream, where people commute daily in large numbers, helps in improving the atmosphere – both environmentally and psychologically,” said Sanjay Kaushik, the force behind Uthaan. “We plant trees on the dividers, sides of pavements and many empty places,” said Kaushik

Random plantation of trees has become a trend in Gurgaon, with most of the people believing that planting a tree anywhere would benefit the City. Uthaan staunchly believes that it needs a proper plan, to identify the right area to plant the right kind of trees. “Look at Delhi – one can see lines of trees like neem on the sides of the roads. We  want to increase the green cover of the City, and that’s why we have taken up various major roads – such as Sohna Road, and the road that comes from Huda City Centre towards Subash Chowk. We are planting trees in the middle and sides of the roads, and till now we have planted trees on the divider from the Metro pillar numbers 200 to 218. The area around Signature Tower has also been worked on by us. We have started working in  collaboration with HUDA and MCG; before we start our work anywhere we take permission from these two agencies. Earlier there had been instances where we had to leave the whole area after it was fully developed. Another catchment areas of ours is in and around Sikanderpur, especially the marble market road and the empty patch adjacent to various nurseries near the Metro Station. We have also turned a barren and deserted land near Pull Man Hotel on the Faridabad Road—which had become notorious for many mishaps—into a formidable green patch.  

Planting trees may be the core area of Uthaan’s work, but it has also made its presence felt in other spheres of life. “We also work for the rescue of animals. Actually there are thousands of animals, like dogs and cows, that die each year in large numbers on the roads. We work for the safety of these animals. We are running an Animal Rescue Centre (ARC), that operates on NH-8 between Dharuhera and Jaipur. We take care of the animals who meet with accidents on the roads. ARC has its head quarters in Kotputli, Rajasthan. We have also installed solar heaters, to help underprivileged kids get warm water in winters, at the School of the Deaf and Dumb situated in Old Gurgaon,” added Kaushik. 

Gurgaon has become a commercial hub, with thousands of domestic and international companies, who ought to take the responsibility to contribute something for the social upliftment of the poor. CSR activities are said to be their way of giving back to society. “Most of the CSR activities done by the MNCs are for effect. For example many of these companies claim that, under CSR, they have contributed to many Rain Water Harvesting projects. In reality most of their structures don’t function properly, and therefore don’t make any contribution to the enhancement of the water table. Not only companies, many NGOs too show that they have spent a fortune on these Rain Water Harvesting structures – but in reality they construct a few for less than Rs. 50,000. Most of the structures do not have the right catchment areas or the slope, and no study of soil and topology has been done before digging the pit,” opined Kaushik

Uthaan means to uplift, or elevate the downtrodden, to a certain level of comfort and respect. “True upliftment of the City is our aim, and to achieve that we are ready to work in each sphere of human life – for the formation of an egalitarian society,” signed off Kaushik.  


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