Smriti Brichyya—Plantation with a Difference


Smriti Brichyya—Plantation with a Difference

– Mr Indresh Sharma

Principal Madhav P Neupane planting a sapling for Smriti Brichhya program at the Manohara Town Planning in Pepsicola along with Mr Jeevan Thapa, President of YONSEDOn the occasion of World Environment Day, June 5, Principal Mr Madhav Prasad Neupane and Research and Development Officer Mr Indresh Sharma along with students participated in the Youth Network for Social and Environmental Development (YONSED) lead plantation program in the Manohara River Corridor at Pepsicola. YONSED is developing the corridor as an urban green area (Smriti Batika) with the main objective of utilizing open public space in the city and its suburbs and transforming the largest urban agglomerate of the country into a better and greener livable place with a direct positive impact of mitigating the local temperature rise due to climate change and urban sprawl that the city is experiencing.
A Smriti Batika has a variety of trees of different species which a person can opt to plant in memory of some loved ones living or living only in memory or a special event or occasion viz. anniversaries, birthdays and the likes. That plant then becomes a Smriti Brichhya—A Commemorative Tree.  Each and every plant will have a name plate stating the name of the dedicator, name of the person or occasion for which the dedication is made and species’ name--a single plantation charge amounts to Rs1000. The project is so designed that a single block will have a hundred saplings and there can be a number of such blocks. In Pepsicola alone—which is the first such plantation site --there are more than six blocks dedicated by organizations and individuals viz. WWF Nepal, Sinamangal Nagar Sewa Samaj, National College, Baluwatar, YONSED Community, Mr Mohan Bikram Singh and Ms Pratibha and Ms Swekriti. Apart from Pepsicola, ongoing plantations are happening in Dhunche (Rasuwa) and Tulsipur (Dang). Kapan in Kathmandu, Pokhara, Bhaktapur and Dhangadi also are the sites for forthcoming plantation. Besides these, a series of sites being pondered upon as potential sites are Nagdaha, Pashupatinath, Dharmasthali, Dhapakhel (Lalitpur), Martyr’s Park (Kirtipur) and Shankhamul.
According to Mr Jeevan Thapa, President, YONSED, the project is designed also to bring in local participation. In Pepsicola, for instance, YONSED will look after the plants and the project site for first five years after which it will hand over the site to Sinamangal Nagar Sewa Samaj which, in turn, will look after it for the next 15 years. So, only after nearly 20 years the locals can then sustainably harvest the plants for themselves. However, they can use the site as a community park throughout. This then quite lucidly depicts inevitable urban sociological ramifications of positive nature.
National College, Baluwatar has been involved with YONSED and its activities for quite some time now. This is because the College Management decided to also be an agent of change—by securing one whole block-- along with YONSED as it sees in this program a potential to bring about a paradigm shift in urban living—both environmentally and socially. Mr Ukesh Raj Bhuju, Program Coordinator and Mr Indresh Sharma along with students from all the three courses i.e. BDevS, BDFin and BOSS participated in the inauguration program held on January 30, 2014 at the Pepsicola site where Chief Secretary Mr Leela Mani Paudyal was the chief guest along with other dignitaries like Mr Kishore Thapa, Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, Mr Gagan Thapa, Mr Rabindra Adhikari and others. Besides a National College’s Smriti Brichyya, the DevS Society also dedicated Smriti Brichyya to their seniors on that day. Following that Mr Indresh Sharma also participated in the reflection workshop organized by YONSED on May 21, 2014 where information about the progress and issues raised post inauguration were discussed with participants like WWF Nepal, NEPSEMAC, Resources Himalaya, Ministry of Home, Kantipur among others.