It was in 2000 that Israeli citizen Aviram Rozin first visited India. Wanting to get lost in the forest and greenery in India, Rozin was pained and shocked to see the rapid deforestation across the country.
He wanted to do something to protect the forests and moved to India in 2003 along with his wife Yorit and daughter Osher. They bought around 70 acres of barren land in Auroville, Tamil Nadu and started slowly transforming it.
With the help of local and international volunteers, they planted the barren land with seeds of endangered and edible plants and trees.
In the next 13 years, they transformed the place into a forest, teeming with life and greenery.
Today, it is known as “Sadhana Forest” and it has been developed into a bustling eco-friendly settlement with thatched houses, wind pump, solar powered LED lighting, compost toilets and vegan kitchen with energy efficient stoves. Some 18,000 indigenous trees have been planted so far on 70 acre of mostly eroded land.
More than 150 young volunteers from all over the world live in the settlement at any given time planting trees, building bunds and experiencing a simple ecologically conscious life.
After tasting success in India, Rozin has taken his Sadhana Forest model to countries like Haiti and Kenya where he gets the local community to create forests.
The mission at first was to plant trees. Now, the mission is also to support people in terms of growing food on trees. He is also supporting the learning and transformation of young people that come to volunteer – which are many. Sadhana Forest has evolved into something more than we expected – which is beautiful, said Rozin who calls the volunteers, his family.
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SOURCE: Indiatimes & TheBetterIndia