“Rishikesh’s largest ashram kickstarts yatra to motivate people to plant trees,” The Times of India

This article was published in The Times of India, here.

Dehradun: Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh’s largest ashram, initiated the second phase of its ‘Aman Ekta Hariyali Yatra’ from Ahmedabad in Gujarat on Friday. Swami Chidanand Saraswati, head of the ashram, said that the aim of the interfaith yatra is to inspire mass tree plantation, encourage everyone to plant at least eleven trees each and inspire eleven others to plant at least eleven trees.  “The yatra is also striving to prevent and stop the utilisation of single-use plastic as well as conservation of water through rain water harvesting, treatment of wastewater and prevention of water wastage,” he said.

The yatra was inaugurated by the governor of Gujarat Acharya Dev Vrat.  Present at the inauguration were Maulana Mahmood Madani, secretary general, Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind (JUH) as well as Swami Madhavpriyadas, president, Swaminarayan Gurukul among others.

The first phase of the yatra had started in Rishikesh and continued through Haridwar, Saharanpur, Muzzafarnagar, Deoband into Shamli, planting more than 6,000 trees, including neem, chandan, amla, peepal, arica palm, and others in 25 locations including masjids, madrassas, temples, schools, hospitals, train stations and other public places along the way.

A communique from Parmarth Niketan said that on Saturday, the yatra started from Swaminarayan Gurukul, Charodi, and thereafter covered two locations in Siddhpur, including the Gokul University campus.  The yatra subsequently covered masjids, schools and public spaces in Chhapi, Badargarh, Kamalpur, and onto Sedrasana, Kanodar, and Palanpur.