On A Mission to Save Trees

by chitrkunwar

December, 2, 2011 | Vivek Kamboj, the founder of NGO Haryali, has recently planted 900 trees in Palam Vihar

•Vinod Rajput ( vinod.rajput@hindustantimes.com)

In the name of development, today trees are being mercilessly cut down and jungles being cleared, But a handful of people are going all out to save our greens.

Gurgaon- based Vivek Kamnoj, 39, is one such environmentalist who is so zealous about the cause that he is ready to sacrifice anything to save a tree.

“Every tree is like an innocent child to me. And if my child is in danger of any kind I can go to any extent to save his/her life from the possible threats,” says Kamboj, who recently developed an orchard by planting nearly 900 trees on two areas of gaushala land in Palam Vihar:

A resident of Sushant Lok 1, Kamboj is a trained mechanical engineer, who left a well-settled finance business two years back to pursue his love for the greens.

“After college, I worked for private companies and then set up my own finance firm, which I ran for four years. But my business allowed me limited time (Every tree is like an innocent child to me.

And if my child is in danger, I can go to any extent to save his/her life. VIVEK KAMBOJ) for the green initiative, so I shut it down to become a full-time environment activist” argues Kamboj.

Kamboj has been planting trees and fighting against chopping of trees for about nine years now. He formed an NGO, Haryali, five years ago.

“I was fighting against people who cut down trees in Gurgaon alone. Then I formed Haryali. Now many corporate people and others work together for Haryali,” says Kamboj.

Haryali has planted about 48,000 trees across Gurgaon in the last nine years, he adds.

He says that Haryali does not take any aid from people or government bodies, and his friends pool in to carry out the green drives.

The unique orchard, which Haryali has developed, has some rare trees like Kamandal, Kalpvriksh, rudraksh and badam.

“We have also planted trees like Kapoor, Chandan and dhak and medicinal trees such as arjun, belpatra, neem and gullar. We plant trees with whatever money; we collect from our core team,” says Kamboj, Who has taken on many powerful people just to save trees.

“Whether he was a senior bureaucrat or army officer, I have not thought twice about the might of the person who was found cutting trees. Many of them even threatened me with dire consequences but I did not deter because my objective is noble,” says Kamboj.

Besides that, he has been demanding a paperless transaction at all toll plazas of the country and distributing jute bags, free of cost to shun the use of polythene.“With paperless toll plazas we can save 15,000 trees from being cut every year in the country,” argues Kmboj, who has so far distributed 2,000 jute bags in city.

We should all work for environment so that we pass on a healthy ecology to the next generation,” adds Kamboj, who plans to spread Haryali’s base to other states to involve more people in his crusade.

To conserve water, a pond has also been developed in the middle of the orchard so that rainwater can be collected and groundwater table recharged, he adds.

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