| ORISSA, India,
May 19, 2003, Outlook: The harijans of Aliha
village in Orissa have never been allowed to plant coconut
trees. The belief here is that if a harijan plants trees,
a death will occur in the community.
Nirakar Mallick, a harijan, decided to break this age-old
stigma by planting thousands of trees along Orissa’s
coast. Mallick was concerned about the state’s
degraded coastline, which is often victim to either
drought or floods. So he set about planting trees to
prevent soil erosion along the coast and help tackle
the problem of floods.
Thanks to Mallick’s efforts, a two-hectare plot
of land on the banks of the river Brahmani that was
devastated by the 1999 supercyclone, now supports more
than 5,000 trees, and no one has died.
This article is courtesy of Oneworld.net. For the complete