Shri Mahatma Gandhi Ashramsala

Name of Organisation - Shri Mahatma Gandhi Ashramsala
Location - Po-Mangvana, Kutch, Gujarat

In the heart of the desert in the remote village of Mangvana in Kutch, Gujarat, exists an oasis named Shri Mahatma Gandhi Ashramsala, an inconspicuous school with 121 tribal and socially backward community students.

Rajendra M. Desai, Rahul S. Solanki and the students of this school are inspirational in their work. These kids have undertaken massive afforestation works in their school, village and the schools in the surrounding village. Their work has a profound effect as they have shown the way to villagers and communities in matter of tree plantation, water use, cleanliness and care for nature.

The teachers and students have turned the barren landscape into lush green scenery. They set an example of water conservation by using waste water for raising young plants in rocky poor soil types. To raise a tree in such a hostile environment needs determination and nerves of steel.

Coming from economically backward families for the past six years, they have been working consistently in the heart of the desert to turn it into an oasis.

The area is in which these children are working has intense pressure from the charcoal mafia for whom a tree means another bag of charcoal and more money. The air is highly polluted in many villages where the fumes from charcoal linger.

Working against all odds, the students make their efforts look easy as they play and dance to the songs their teachers have composed for them on nature conservation and the value of trees, in the process creating a heaven for biodiversity.