A Short Video Introduction to Sadhana Forest:
Sadhana Forest is a noble initiative near the Integrated Township – Auroville & Pondicherry, South India where thousands of volunteers from around the world are trying to (re)build a tropical dry evergreen forest by planting trees native to the region, and by recharging the water table of the region, on a land that was almost barren a few years ago. The great news is: You can also help them by volunteering!
It seems Sadhana Forest was started in 2003, and since then they have planted more than 29,000 trees in this region of India. They have also increased the water table of the region by more than 6m by constructing check-dams, etc. Their aim is to regrow the tropical evergreen forest which was available in abundance in the coastal region of South India, even a few decades ago. As you can guess, we have felled all the trees for our “developmental” activities.
I attended a demonstration of wick irrigation technique used by them in Sadhana Forest to water plants efficiently using just a plastic bottle and a cotton rope (as shown above). As you can guess, water is filled in the bottle and percolates through the rope (one side of which is placed close to the root), little by little. This technique uses less water than just pouring water around a sapling, as water can be directed closer to the roots and there is minimum loss of water through percolation, evaporation, etc.
The Director of Sadhana Forest, Aviram Rozin, introduced Sadhana Forest and explained the irrigation technique to us, at REStore, Chennai, as a part of the “Auroville in Chennai” events.
He told us they welcome volunteers, both from India and abroad. According to their website, Stay, WiFi, charging facility for laptop, etc. for the volunteers is free of cost at Sadhana Forest, but there is a small charge of Rs. 400 ($7 USD) per day for the Vegan food they provide daily. The minimum volunteer duration is 2/4 weeks, depending on the season. More details about Volunteering at Sadhana Forests is here. They also accept donations, and they are partly sustained by support of donors from across the world via the Gift Economy model.
Further Information/Website: Sadhana Forest.