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You are here:  Skip Navigation LinksHome » Articles » Show Article
Plant a tree grow a life
Ketho Sakhrie  :  Oct/24/2017 09:04:PM
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Those from the Northern Angami region or passing through the National Highway will notice wild apple saplings along the way, beautifully and meticulously planted with bamboo barricades around the saplings. The saplings can be mostly seen concentrated on the many villages approach roads. You will not fail to notice that the saplings are well taken care of by each respective villages.What most people does not know is that these swaying, thriving saplings is the sole product of a young man’s dream for a better tomorrow. 
This is by no means, a government undertaking but the sole initiative of a young man’s impossible dream and his persistent fight against all forms of pessimism and negativity which resulted in the saplings that greets every traveler along the way. 
Meet Shürhoneiu Sanchu, a Master’s degree holder in Social Work with a Bachelor in Theologywho is the architect behind the plantation. 
When I first heard of Arho (as he is known to his close acquaintances) and his ideas- to plant the trees along the highway, I too had my doubts. He was not talking about planting twenty or even a hundred trees, he was talking about a thousand and more trees. “Do you have any organization willing to help you?” I asked, as philanthropic works of such magnitude is difficult for a sole person to achieve. 
“Nope, there is none, I just want to do something for my people”. He tells me, his eyes strong with conviction. Arho has always been ahead of his peers. This 29 years old man envisions a future where the wild apple trees will bear fruits and provide a source of economic assistance to people who are in need. 
“We live in a time where jobs and the living economy of our people is becoming more and more difficult, so we should all pitch in and do our bit”, he tells me. His theological background surfacing in course of our talk. 
“Why wild apple?” I had to ask.
“I chose wild apple tree among other trees because it is native to our land, as well as- the need to promote our indigenous plants is all the more, the need of the hour. I had of course, nothing..”, he confesses to me, “..but I purchased wild apple seeds from Khonoma through a friend with my money.”
He told me, he realized that instead of buying the saplings, it was more economical to buy the seeds and germinate it himself. With the seeds, he began to plant it into plastic packets in his backyard. The number of seeds proved too much for him to handle alone, so he called some children and with their help they began to plant the seeds. “It was also a time for me to teach these children, the need for maintaining ecological balance in the environment”, he said. In order to encourage them, he gave them pocket money for their help. With their help, more than a thousand packets were planted. “It was tiresome..”, he confesses to me,“…to water all the packets and make sure that they get adequate water and necessary care”. People began to wonder what he was going to do with all the saplings. 
“I had my fair share of criticisms and sneers”, he told me when I asked him. “There were times, I even doubted in my own dream but I am grateful to all who stood by me and believed in my dream”, he said, a broad smile across his face.  
The theme, Plant a Tree, Grow a Life, was adopted with the idea that planting a tree will be a source of supporting a future life as well as provide even a source of income for the common man. In other words, a single tree planted today will support a life tomorrow. He wanted to emphasize that even a single tree planted will have its impact for tomorrow and aid in our fight against global warming which has spread its ugly tentacles even in our own land. With the conception of the theme which he felt, embodied his objective, he began his work. 
When the seeds sprouted into saplings, he began to share his dream among his friends and people. “Social media proved to be a boon and I began to publicize about my dream. I updated about the project on Facebook and uploaded pictures of the plants.”Whenever opportunity permits, he would share it with various churches as well as spread the message to other neighboring villages through friends or by himself. 
Arho who is also involved in his local church- Nachama Christian Revival Church as the Youth Director found immense support and contribution not only from his own local church but fromvarious other churches.
“Youths and churches came to help me in planting the saplings”, he tells me,“I am ever grateful to them all. The first plantation was done in April, 2016. My gratitude goes to the Rüsoma Christian Revival Church Youth, Chedema CRC youth, BKK Tsiesema (Basa), Phezha CRC youth, BKK Chiechama (Basa), BKK Chiechama (Bawe), Chiephobozou CRC youth, The Track(UBC), Kohima, DIAM Entrepreneurial Trust, Nachama CRC youth.I could not have done it without their help.” His face was sincere, as he spoke. 
Today, Arho has a thousand and fifty saplings planted to his credit. He still has 2050 wild apple saplings which are ready to be distributed and planted. As I look at the saplings, I can only imagine the hardships that these 2000 plus saplings must have involved, not to forget the other first thousand plus batch. He plans to plant it the next year as he informed me that the plantation season is already over. His sincerity and dedication can also be seen in that, whatever he has achieved and whatever he has done, were all financed with his own money besides some aids which made the feat even more commendable.He added that the first tree to be planted in April, 2016 has now attained a height of twelve feet. I noticed the proud parental look as he talked about the progress of the saplings.  
“I don’t mean to stop here. This is not the end. I still want to plant more wild apple trees along other village approach roads”, he tells me as I was about to go. “I want it to be an annual project and look forward to people who will come out and support me. This is not possible by me alone and I urge people to join me in contributing our bit to the society in particular and the environment in general. My aim is to plant 10,000 trees by 2020.” He said with the utmost look of determination and grit. 
Ten thousand trees is indeed a significant number but when people come together, perhaps no number is too big and no dream, an impossibility. Behind the swaying, growing saplings, hope and the future seems to be embedded in those trees. Perhaps, the future is not as grim as the doomsday fanatics believe; perhaps when just, one man can do so much with a dream, imagine what we can achieve, when all of us contribute our bit for the betterment of tomorrow!The tiny seeds which today has grown into plants are on their way to become trees for tomorrow. These trees will always be a source of inspiration; perhapsthe next time, when you pass through these villages, remember it takes only one individual to start a ‘change’ and that can be ‘you’. 



 
 
 
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