Grow-Trees.com, the social enterprise that enables planting of trees in public lands, has crossed the two million tree mark. Over three hundred companies and thousands of individuals have planted trees to greet friends, employees customers, for birthdays, new year or other occasions by dedicating those trees through eTreeCertificates or TreeCards.
Grow-Trees has so far initiated 25 projects across India. These include Trees for Tribals at Nimbhora (Maharashtra); Trees for Tigers at Sariska (Rajasthan) and Sundarbans (West Bengal); Trees for Sloth Bears at Kumbhalgarh (Rajasthan); Trees for Communities at Chintamani (Karnataka), Madanpalle (Andhra Pradesh), Koraput (Orissa), Yavatmal (Maharshtra), Kheda (Gujarat), Panchmahals (Gujarat), Mahisagar (Gujarat) and Mandla (Madhya Pradesh).
Its project for planting Trees for Wildlife Corridor between Kanha and Pench has been supported by Vodafone India for three years in a row. This project will help facilitate movement of tigers between the forests, help increase genetic diversity, and reduce man-animal conflicts. The Orans or Sacred Groves that Grow-Trees has helped recreate in Rajasthan, are already providing the local communities with non-timber resources, and have seen the return in greater abundance of wildlife such as peacocks and parakeets. A study found that in Dahod, the site of an early planting project of Grow-Trees, villagers would have to spend forty percent of their cash income on cooking fuel alone if they did not get biomass from trees.
Its latest project is Trees for Rivers in Harda district of Madhya Pradesh on the banks of tributaries of the Narmada. The trees are all local species including valuable plants such as teak and bamboo. The tree canopies intercept rainfall, delay and reduce the impact of the drops falling onto the ground, thereby reducing runoff and avoiding soil erosion which leads to decrease in river capacity and to flooding.
With the support of individuals and companies like Tata Capital, SBI Life, Ernst & Young, BASF, Mercedes Benz, DHL, Reserve Bank of India, Grow-Trees.com has planted a mix of trees of local species in each project area, creating over 171,000 workdays of jobs mainly for tribals and women. These trees will absorb over 41 million kilograms of carbon per year when mature, and provide flowers, fruit, fodder and fuel to communities and living creatures, offer shade to nomads and their livestock, give shelter to birds and animals, prevent soil erosion and flooding, improve water catchment, generate oxygen, remove pollution, reduce carbon in the atmosphere and fight climate change.
Grow-Trees.com was launched and dedicated to the planet on World Environment Day, June 5, 2010. Co-founded by Pradip Shah who founded CRISIL, and his son Karan Shah, both Harvard MBAs, it is run by Bikrant Tiwary, the CEO and his team.