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Vrikshit Foundation: How This NGO In Delhi Is Spreading Awareness Even During Lockdown

“We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.” – Nelson Mandela. 

Slowing Down. Awakening. Contemplation. Reflection. The year the human race was forced to sit back. The year nature stood up for itself. The year of the — Great Awakening. The year we all learn to live our lives a better way. 

Right from the industrial revolution a century back, we tirelessly took it upon ourselves to exploit the environment around us. Trying to live a comfortable life, all the while forgetting that surrendering to greed had made us disrespect the earth, and hence our very own existence. The lockdown was unexpected and sudden. Nobody was prepared, and now that we look around, the businesses and the usual routine of the masses, it’s all a mess. 

A major part of the population is trying very hard to make the best of this time and bring their usual work back on track. Yet, every struggle and fight starts with a few fighters who take it upon themselves to make the world a better place. As concerns about the environment have now finally taken centre stage, a few non-governmental organisations have been taking proactive steps to create awareness, educate the masses and heal nature. 

In situations as testing as these, it is remarkable how well an NGO has managed its work. It has not let the sudden change damp their working even a bit. The spirit is as new as ever and so is the amount of effort they have been putting in for the cause. The NGO in question, which has been working relentlessly to create awareness and educate people, the Vrikshit Foundation. The foundation is led by a bunch of self-established folks who started it as a group of friends and are now a well-known name across the country. 

They started it with the intent of bringing about a positive change in society, and have transformed into a well-known name among environmental activists nowadays. Isn’t it tremendous for an organisation to gain such momentum, which has been in existence for only about a year? While they were working by themselves to clean parts of the city before the pandemic, even in a situation like this, their zest and zeal have been stronger than ever. They have been reaching out to the masses and have been creating awareness at all levels. 

They have provided ration to over 1,300 families and also fed stray animals.

But let us take a break and ponder upon the pronoun “they” being used above more than often. They are a family, as they call it. A family as diverse as India. A family spread to the perimeter of the nation. A family, who may not have met other members of their family, but are driven by the same goal, “to create a better environment for us and generations to come”. And their actions are intimate enough with these words to prove that the efforts are paying off. 

With this lockdown rendering many people devoid of basic essentials for life, these people took a step ahead. They’ve tried to be proactive and stay a step ahead of this deadly virus by making an initiative to improve the immunity of poor children. How? Healthy juices being distributed in rural areas and slums.

Could it be any better? From visiting slums themselves to providing stuff to the authorities in charge of distribution to the poor. From providing ration to 1,300+ families to feeding stray animals out there. From encouraging their volunteers to make masks at home to delivering sanitisers door to door. They haven’t left any stone unturned.

And what drives these people towards such deeds? It’s the smiles of the needful that motivates this NGO. It’s the satisfaction of those helpless parents whose children now have meals because of this NGO that motivates them to delve into this even more. Also, the volunteers of this foundation are connected to each other, thanks to social media, and devise new methods to sustain the environment while sitting at home. Could work from home be any productive for anyone, eh?

I don’t think it would be wrong to close this article by saying, “Yes, India was locked down for many. But, not for all.” 

You don’t need to be on the borders to be a hero. You could be a doctor, National Security Personnel, or maybe a part of this NGO? Just give it a thought. Cheers! 

(Co-Author: Vrinda Aggarwal)

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Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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