Hariyali - Towards Living a Greener Future

The 'Multipurpose Medicinal Plants and Eco-friendly Initiatives' by Hariyali Mulund & MCGM T-Ward included workshops on sustainable living.

Hariyali - Towards Living a Greener Future

The 'Multipurpose Medicinal Plants and Eco-friendly Initiatives' by Hariyali Mulund Division & MCGM T-Ward was held between 12th to 14th January 2024 at Priyadarshini Indira Gandhi Sports Complex (Kalidas Hall), Mulund West, Mumbai. The exhibition included several workshops on sustainable living and a guide for someone who wants to step towards an Earth-friendly lifestyle. The event saw active participation from not only the Mulund area but also across Mumbai city. The students from Mulund College of Commerce undertook the role of volunteers at the showcase.

The exhibition offered the participants the opportunity to learn about various medicinal plants, terrace gardening, vertical gardening and ways to incorporate an eco-friendly outlook in their regular day-to-day through composting, waste management and using bio enzymes. The event saw the participation and engagement of people from diverse backgrounds and professions eager to learn from the sessions.

Speaking about the occasion, Dr Neelima Kulkarni, Former Chairperson Mulund division said, “We hold this exhibition every three years, however, the last one was in 2018 and we were bound by COVID and its effects. We are excited to have it again this year. We have about 160 medicinal plants, which are all made by our volunteers at Murar Road Nursery, Mulund. We take care of them for two or three years, and then after that, whatever is missing, we just replace them and display them at the next session.” 
Carefully curated medicinal plants
“We have been doing a lot of sapling making and tree plantation, and now we are looking forward to helping in whatever way we can. But, we work very diligently. And, the basic thing is that we have dedicated members who are raring to go on these activities”, states the event’s coordinator, Geeta Balan.

There is a variety of medicinal plants at the show that have been curated and collected by its members over the last months. They search and identify indigenous and medicinal herbs and saplings that have curative and therapeutic properties. “The 160 plus medicinal plants including 21 Ganesh patri like Dhruva, Bel, and Pomegranate, to name a few, are displayed here at the exhibition with complete details of their values. We want to create awareness about the medicinal plants so that people will come to know that these solutions are there and are effective and can be made use of instead of chemicals in manufactured solutions”, states Dr Kulkarni.

160 plus medicinal plants including 21 Ganesh patri

Hariyali Thane (Head Office) was established in 1996 with a small number of members who wanted to make a change towards the environment by providing a green cover to the barren hilly region all around Thane and harvesting its rainwater resources. Today, it boasts 650+ members who are actively participating in its myriad of activities from mass plantation of endemic species, water conservation, seed collection, solid waste management, eco treks, and always spreading awareness regarding the importance of environmental protection. 

The group started primarily as an afforestation-based mission and has completed that with support and approval from local governing bodies in locations like Konkanipada, Dindeshwar, Munda Dongar, Bhavale, Lohgad, Tetavali and many more. These stark and infertile lands are transformed into lush and beautiful self-sustainable green forests with tireless and continuous maintenance efforts. The NGO has been able to undertake this task by creating a plantation ecosystem by performing soil quality checks, incorporating water management by creating artificial water bodies, initiating prior seed collection and finally by putting in selfless time and effort by its members.

Starting in Thane, the movement has extended further into Mumbai with branches in Mulund and Dombivili as well. The NGO is looking after two nurseries presently, one in Kasa Vadavali, Thane and the other at Murar Road, Mulund. Hariyali also has tie-ups with private organisations like Bajaj Electrical, Hexaware, Tata Consultancy, Morgan Stanley and Reliance Energy to facilitate CSR activities for them. 

Members of Hariyali

Dr Sandya Mukund Diwanji, Hariyali’s current Chairperson Mulund branch is looking after the organisation’s interests. They have many projects lined up for the commencing year, like a proposal for another afforestation operation. Meanwhile, they continue to get involved in the nurseries and create environmental awareness in schools, colleges and housing societies. The group has embraced technology and has a digital presence on Facebook @hariyali thane and Instagram @hariyali_mulund. For more details on their activities, visit the website Hariyali Thane.

Image credits to Ananjay M