Project- Mission Green Dhanera

Around 114 Villages of Dhanera, Dantiwada, Lakhani, and Deesa talukas are situated between the river bed of Rel and Banas rivers where the groundwater level is very low. The region has heterogeneous climatic conditions like extreme heat in summer and extreme cold in winter, as well as catastrophic flood conditions in the year 2015 and year 2017. 

To overcome this issue Edufun Foundation had started planting trees in the year 2014; where children of a total of 5 schools and 3 Aganwadi of Dhanera taluka had participated in that activity.

In the year 2015, a total of 1100 plants were planted in 3 temples (village Jivana, Thawar, Samarwada) and 6 schools by Edufun in collaboration with Paryavaran Mitra Mandal Dhanera and Lions Club of Dhanera.

In the year 2016, the “Vruksha Parab” (Free Trees) event was organized. In which we distributed free saplings of fruits and flower plants in Dhanera and nearby villages. We gave 2 saplings to each person of his/her own choice from varieties of plants namely, Neem, Borasali, Guava, Custard Apple, Saptaparni, Sweet Moringa, Curry leaves, Senna (Kashid), Golden shower (Garmalo), Gulmohar, Nagode, Pipal, Tulsi, Jambu, Ashok ( Asopalav), Sevan, Aradusi (medicinal plant), Umara. The name, mobile number, and address of the person carrying the plant were also recorded. That has been done for 3 consecutive years and planted around 2000 trees. 

In the year 2019, we did our pilot project for “Pipal Van” ( Forest of Pipal Trees), a mini forest of indigenous trees like Pipal, Neem, Ashok, Khijda, Borasali, Ambali, Jambu, Umbro, Banyan, etc. at Dhanera and Thavar village and made 3 Pipal Van with plantation of total 895 saplings. 

In the year 2020 even if in the COVID times, we planted trees with the due covid protocol we planted 1280 saplings out of which 62% trees survived. Again, the “Vruksha Parab” (Free Trees) event was organized and 1270 saplings were distributed.

In the year 2021, under “ Mission Green Dhanera” , we called the meeting of Sarpanch (Village Head) of 61 Gram Panchayat. They were fascinated by the idea of growing mini forests with the Miyawaki technique. Out of 61 villages, 13 villages were agreed to grow a mini forest and that is how we successfully planted 13500 trees under this project. 

Total Trees  plantation 20,045 in numbers in the 17 beneficiary villages namely Thavar, Valer, Silasana, Samarwada, Charda, Jivana, Jadia, Karadhani, Ravi, Eta, Kunwara, Malotra, Saral – Weed, Nandla, Duva, Ramun, Ramsan. 

In the year 2019, we did our pilot project for “Pipal Van” ( Forest of Pipal Trees), a mini forest of indigenous trees like Pipal, Neem, Ashok, Khijda, Borasali, Ambali, Jambu, Umbro, Banyan, etc. at Dhanera and Thavar village and made 3 Pipal Van with plantation of total 895 saplings. 

Project- Save Sparrow

Sparrow is a tiny bird with a sweet voice that we know but it also helps to maintain biodiversity in 21 different ways. Sparrow gives her eggs only in the nest and her babies grow in nests. So, Edufun Foundation distributed sparrow nests and bird feeders to welcome sparrows in our houses. Save sparrows to save nature.  We have organized one school children awareness rally and distributed 10,000 Sparrow nests in Dhanera taluka.

Project- Pipal Van

Edufun Foundation works for environment protection and awareness in Dhanera, Gujarat. Trees are very essential for every life on the earth.  We had decided to plant and grow a mini forest of native trees in Dhanera, Thavar, Nandala, Valer. Then we launched a pilot project named ‘Pipal Van’, which shows the significance of the Pipal tree from ancient times. We have planted Pipal trees in 50% of the total land area and in the rest of the area other native trees namely Neem, Ashok, Khijda, Borasali, Ambali, Jambu, Umbro, Banyan, etc.  The project was successful. 

Trees are growing gradually with the help of 1 gardener and a drip irrigation system. People of these villages are very much inspired by this project and agreed to grow more and more trees to save the environment. The challenge we faced during this project was villagers were not ready to accept that planting and growing trees is an act of any good because the benefit we get from trees is not visible in kind. After continuous efforts of our team, Pipal Van is gaining good response from locals.

Project- Wetland Restoration and Conservation

The ‘Zalar Kachaba Talav’ is a Common Name in local dialect (Gujarati) of a wetland which means ‘SOFT-SHELLED TURTLE LAKE’. It is situated on the outskirts of the Rampura Chhota village in Dhanera Taluka of Banaskantha District in Gujarat State of India. It is a Natural Lake and said to be more than 200 years old which is a habitat of nearly 6000 rare species of Indian Soft-shelled Turtles.

(The Soft-Shelled Turtles are highly protected in India, therefore it is covered in The Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 in schedule I part II and are endangered species under IUCN read data.)

Since the last 2-3 years, due to rapid unplanned construction of Buildings / Roads, the catchment areas of the lake have become fragmented, and natural stormwater channels bringing in water have been blocked or redirected. The lake is gradually getting to the road level with no water left in it which causes below

major problems:

  1. The Indian Soft-Shelled Turtles which are already becoming extinct and are categorized as endangered species as per Schedule-I of Indian Wild-Life Protection Act, 1972 are exposed to smuggling and trafficking.
  2. The Indian Star Shell Tortoise which has a major population in a habitat are also threatened for their existence.
  3. Shepherds facing difficulties for their livestock to feed and water needs.
  4. As lakes receive and contribute to the groundwater in the region; drying-up of The lake will certainly be a cause of reduced groundwater in the future.
  5. Survival of all the living organisms in and around the villages is a matter of serious concern.

During the summer of 2020 when the world was fighting against Covid-19 Pandemic and was under complete lockdown, the turtles of the village too were fighting for their survival due to drying water in Zalar Lake in Rampura Chhota Village of Dhanera taluka. Edufun Foundation started coordinating with the local community members through use of social media to extend their support to save this rare species. Some of the villagers came forward and extended their support by providing water tankers to refill the lake to save the lives of the turtles. The community support was immense to an extent that within 24 hours of time we had poured 52 tankers of water to save the lives of turtles.

Later, we installed a bore well that is used to release water in the lake during times of extreme heat and when the water level diminishes. This keeps the lake wet and makes it easy for the turtles to survive.