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After holding successful Tree Plantation Drive Karnataka, NGO Avashya Foundation Extends the Initiative to Rajasthan

Avashya foundation, an NGO supervised a tree plantation drive around the Sitamata Wildlife Sanctuary in Rajasthan

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Sitamata Wildlife Sanctuary. Wikimedia
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Nov 18, 2016: Avashya foundation, an NGO under India’s foremost integrated logistics provider Allcargo Logistics has extended its efforts to the state of Rajasthan after completing a successful tree plantation drive in Karnataka.

The NGO is affiliated with Grow-Trees.com which is an exclusive Indian partner for the United Nation’s Environment Program (UNEP) and has planted 1711 trees on the perimeter of the Sitamata Wildlife Sanctuary in Rajasthan.

Living in a country where people find merriment during festivals in spreading blankets of smoke around their cities, it is refreshing to learn that some of us are doing our part in celebrating the beautiful life this planet has given us and are working towards paying back our debts. Such actions are a step towards purification of the air we breathe, beautification of our environment and bringing optimism into the hearts of people.

This initiative by Avashya falls under its flagship environment sustainability programme, Maitree. Avashya has planted over 2,39,000 trees under this program in the last two years.

“This initiative is in line with Avashya Foundation’s endeavor to give back to society in several different ways. Planting trees is a classic investment that pays rich dividends for the planet and our aim is to plant 10 lacs trees in the next 5 years under this initiative. I would also like to take a moment to thank Grow-Trees.com for completing the drive successfully in Karnataka & Rajasthan.” said Ms. Arathi Shetty the Non-Executive Director of Allcargo and Avashya Foundation on the plantation drive.

AllCargo Logistics Ltd. logo. Wikimedia.
AllCargo Logistics Ltd. logo. Wikimedia.

AllCargo Logistics Ltd. is a leading integrated logistics supplier on a global level. The company provides its exceptional logistics services across Multimodal Transport Operations, Container Freight Station Operations and Project & Engineering Solutions. Brilliant quality standards, standardized processes and excellent operating has led AllCargo to emerge as a leader in the global market of these segments. It is the biggest publicly owned logistics company listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India.

Brilliant quality standards, standardized processes and excellent operating has led AllCargo to emerge as a leader in the global market of these segments. It is the biggest publicly owned logistics company listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange of India.

AllCargo’s NGO, Avashya foundation also bears many Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR), focusing on natural disaster relief, women empowerment, health care, education and environmental sustainability.

– by Shivam Thaker of NewsGram. Twitter: @Shivam_Thaker

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Temple, Mosque, Gurudwara Join Hands In This UP Town

In another incidents, last year in September, when dates of Durgapuja and Muharram clashed, Mishra and Muhammad Rizwan, Haneef's son, took charge

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All religions joined hands together to clean the polluted river. IANS

With inter-community violence reported from many parts of India in a society increasingly polarised on religious and caste lines, a small town in Uttar Pradesh is setting an extraordinary example where a temple, a mosque, and even a gurdwara, have joined hands to clean a polluted river while bringing their communities together.

About 100 km from the state capital Lucknow is the town named Maholi in district Sitapur. Here lies an old Shiva and a Radha-Krishna temple along with Pragyana Satsang Ashram and a mosque, all at a stone’s throw of each other.

Tirthan River is beautifully calm and you'll find many different kinds of fishes in it. Wikimedia Commons
The river in Sitapur is really polluted. Wikimedia Commons

Along the periphery of this amalgamated religious campus, passes a polluted river called Kathina, that merges into the highly polluted Gomti River, a tributary of the mighty but polluted Ganga. Often used as dumping site by dozens of villages and devotees, the stink from Kathina was increasing daily. The solution — Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb (a term used for a fusion of Hindu and Muslim elements) – of Awadh.

“The river belongs to everyone. Hindus use it for ‘aachman’ (a Hindu ritual for spiritual purification), Muslims use it for ‘wazu’ or ablution. Due to lack of awareness, people had been dumping solid and bio waste here, and also doing open defecation. The situation was worsening. Only solution was to start cleaning it ourselves,” said Swami Vigyananad Saraswati, head of the Pragyana Satsang Ashram, as he inspects the river stretch along with Muhammad Haneef, head of the mosque’s managing committee.

Swami said that once the ashram and temple administration began rallying volunteers for the cleaning drive, the mosque also came around to help. Even Maholi’s Sikh gurudwara committee came forward and brought along many volunteers from the Sikh community.

“Once the communities came together, number of volunteers multiplied. The initiative has now become a kind of an environment-movement which is being driven by religious fervor and bonding. Watching our efforts, the local administration also offered help, and other unions like traders and Sikh gurudwara committee also joined hand for cleaning the river,” Swami told IANS pointing out the potential of possibilities when different communities join hands for good.

Ujagar Singh, a member of the Sikh gurdwara committee, equated the effort in cleaning the river with ‘sewa’, an important aspect of Sikhism to provide a service to the community. “Keeping our rivers clean is our duty and we will continue sewa whenever required,” he said.

The temple and mosque, near the town’s police station, were both built in 1962 by then Inspector Jaikaran Singh. The communal fervor is shared since years. During ‘namaaz’, the ashram switches off its loudspeakers and on Hindu festivals and special occasions, the mosque committee helps the temple with arrangements. Still underway, the joint Hindu-Muslim team began cleaning the river from March 14. According to the volunteers, it took three days alone to get the river front cleaned of defecation.

Also Read: All Religions Flourished In India: Modi

“Many villages do not have toilets and volunteers had to stay here round the clock to stop people from defecating or throwing waste. The work was divided. Muslims volunteers would take over the Muslim majority areas and Hindus would tackle other areas, convincing people to stop pollution further while we clean,” Muhammad Haneef told IANS.

The actual cleaning of the river began from March 17, when about 400 volunteers got into the waters, while about 700 of them cleaned the shores. “Several trolleys of garbage — that included plastic, polythene, shoes, rubber, animal carcasses, human waste, glass and ceramic waste, and even some old boat wreck — were taken out of the river.

“Apart from that, several trolleys of water hyacinth, an invasive species of water plant, was removed. It obstructs the flow of the river,” Sarvesh Shukla, executive officer of Maholi town told IANS. Stating that such drive is not possible unless people come together, Shukla said that since ‘mandir-masjid’ joined hand, it was very easy to convince people to cooperate. However, with poor garbage management system of small town, Swami and Haneef looked up to the administration for help.

“Few days back, some butchers were taking waste towards the river. We stopped them and there was a heated debate. Soon other elders of the community joined and we did not let them dump the waste into the river,” said Haneef, pointing out that stopping people without proper management could be daunting in future.

Swami said that they would need disilting machines to clean the river towards the second phase. According to Abdul Rauf from the mosque committee, the work is only half done. “The challenge is to maintain the cleanliness. We could clean only a small stretch of the river. We will rally again and take movement to second phase once we get directions from our elder brother Swami ji,” says Rauf. Nearly one kilometer of the stretch has been cleaned. The volunteers are aiming to clean another kilometer of it. However, be it river or communal fervor, the challenge, as residents of Maholi find, is consistency of the good.

Rohingya refugee
All came together to clean the river.

“There are bad elements everywhere. Few weeks back, a fringe group named Vishwa Hindu Jagran Parishad entered a Muslim-majority area and started hurling abuses. Before they would do more damage, the Hindus of that area came forward and retaliated. The group never returned since,” said Shailendra Mishra, a local resident and member of temple committee. In another incidents, last year in September, when dates of Durgapuja and Muharram clashed, Mishra and Muhammad Rizwan, Haneef’s son, took charge.

“All we had to do was keep a few notorious people from both communities at bay. About 5,000 strong Hindu’s Devi Shakti procession and about 2,000 strong Muslim Tazia procession of Muharram used the same road at the same time. Not a single untoward incident happened,” Haneef said. IANS