Every day we take a lot of important decisions without consulting one important section of society- CHILDREN. While constructing a town and city, engineers and architects will surely know best about urban buildings, but do we ever consider the opinion of 2-year-old kids? Not really! Because we are adults right?
Life Beyond Numbers spoke to Prasiddhi, a 6-year old girl child, who prefers growing amid nature rather than a well-designed concrete environment any day.
A class 1 student from Mahindra World School, she lives with her parents in Chennai. But, how at such a young age, she has so much clarity and awareness about her environment? Well, Thanks to her parents, who are environmentally health-conscious people and now it is their child who is just following the footsteps.
It was Stuti (Prasiddhi’s mother) and father who are themselves inclined to fitness activities and wanted to instill the same thought in their child.
“When she was 2 years old we participated in the Ridley Run event where we ran to save turtles and she was the youngest participant and then there was no stopping her,” recalls Stuti. “As parents, we are environment-friendly, but we never took any special initiatives like our daughter. In fact, I feel overspill is from her side towards us. It is she who is inspiring us to take such actions to ensure that the future planet will be green and beautiful.”
Since then, Prasiddhi participated in numerous environment-related races and started to understand the impact of pollution on the planet and she became restless to save the earth. Not just that, she, in fact, wrote one story about her friend Olaf & Mr. Monkey.
It took no time for her parents to realize that her inclination was towards nature and she wanted to indulge herself in nature, environment support activities. Therefore, tree plantation, beach cleaning, donating at child homes became the new normal in their home.
“Recently, when at Mahindra World City the drive to plant 1 lakh trees occurred, Prasiddhi used to ask her father almost every time to take her to the field. These activities influenced her to take a mission to plant over 1 lakh trees as well and as a beginning, she started to plant fruit trees in a government school,” says Prasiddhi’s mother.
Prasiddhi’s Fruit Forest
Helping others endlessly is something that comes to Prasiddhi naturally. On visiting orphanages and kids’ homes, she realized that material gifts won’t help these children, but surely creating awareness about the environment will give them a sense of belonging there.
Equipped with selfless devotion towards nature, Prasiddhi thought of an idea to plant fruit trees in government schools and that marked the beginning of her extraordinary journey and the initiative.
On asking what made her so curious about the environment, Stuti says, “We feel she might be influenced by a lot of stories like her father eating fruits directly from his garden and schools, her farm visits of her grandparents and visits to several plantation activities in Chennai have impacted her in a positive way and this is how her life took the course of nature.”
While not many children have understood Prasiddhi’s initiation, but that doesn’t stop her from educating children about their surrounding and creating awareness. She loves what she does so much that she has created KIDS ARMY- who collect seeds and are on their way to create a plant nursery- so that they can feed squirrels, birds, butterflies and also share the gift of fresh fruits with everyone.
What shaped Prasiddhi
Prasiddhi’s birthday celebration is way different from what or how we celebrate it today. Instead of throwing lavish parties and spending mindlessly, the family opts for a vacation amid nature every year. “She loves to visit gardens, run behind butterflies, admire water in the sea and collect pebbles,” says Prasiddhi’s mother with a smile.
While on a road trip in Europe, Stuti mentions, how her child was able to draw the differences in people’s sensitivity towards nature there and back here in India. “When Prasiddhi came across tree-covered tunnels in Europe, and in India, we cut trees to build roads or tunnels, she humbly said that when she will grow up, she will do the same for her country,” mentions Stuti to LBN.
In case you haven’t adopted simple habits like not throwing garbage on the roads or not cutting trees around you, take a cue from this baby girl-
Also, when Prasiddhi’s parents found out that most of the fruits at the grocery stores were either injected or waxed, it made them sad and sharing the same with her child led them to find out a better alternative- growing a fruit forest of their own.
Connecting children with nature is as important as breathing. Unless the new generation will get connected with nature, how will they respect and protect and understand the role they must play in the future to conserve forest and beautiful nature around us?
For a beautiful tomorrow
Medicines and vaccines cannot be a substitute for fresh air, water, fruits or vegetables. “Nature has its own way of teaching her and can make a huge difference in the personality of a child,” is what this mother believes in with all her heart.
“I believe introducing farming to children in school will create miracles and will have a huge impact on them. It will help them to connect with nature, bond with them,” she adds.
Prasiddhi has given awareness speeches at numerous places with only one intent, to create a safe and healthy environment for all. Till today, she has addressed over 2000 kids and adults about the planting of trees. Seeing her tireless efforts, not only children, but adults have come forward to join her green army.
Outdoor games help in the growth and development of children, not video games. But, children playing with friends in a park rather than staring at the screen cannot become a reality if we adults fail to create an environment that safe for children. While pollution is one major reason why parents prefer keeping their children indoors, loads of assignments from schools cut their playtime as well. Combining these together, and these certainly impacts the holistic growth of a kid.
This initiative on Ketto, which is a crowdfunding platform, has already raised INR 41,254 and now the team is on their way to team up with more schools to spread this green idea.
Let us create a safe haven for children by saving seeds, planting them, nurturing them and create a beautiful tomorrow for everyone.
“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree,”– said Martin Luther.