Tag Archives: Subhajit Mukherjee

Life on planet EARTH: Perform or Perish!

Save Our Earth

In the truth

You don’t want to admit that our precious earth

Is falling apart, It’s beautiful skirts of grass

Is dying, It’s garden of stunning plants

Is running out of air, And us,

Us, the ones who made it this way

Will one day perish into a dark hole

In a way, we are all selfish murderers

Killing the Soul, we walk upon

With our trash and disgrace, our ungratefulness

Slowly, slowly it shall fade

Slowly we shall perish

Save the earth, Save our hearts and souls

Or forever be lost

Extract from the beautiful poem by Jessica Robert, Poetess

We are living in the times when everything is available to us at our beck and call, whether we want to eat, read, talk, sing, dance, walk, jump, fly or even sleep. Technology has made it all this and more easily accessible to us at the click of a button. We consistently go on replenishing things of our daily life and most of our time, energy, money and other resources are spent on this chore.

Everything is available to us so easily and in abundance, we never think what will happen when it is not available to us. By no stretch of the imagination, we can imagine this scenario, we happily go on deploying our resources. Today everything is centred around human aspirations which are growing leaps and bounds.

Our ancestors worked really very hard to make the ends meet and accessing even basic things in life. The simplicity from life is waning. It’s all about amassing wealth and luxuries, though at the cost of earth’s natural resources. Have you ever thought that what will happen when the energy sources which make the world move start depleting?

We are already stretching many of our natural resources to their limits, and probably we are heading towards times of catastrophic squeeze of these resources…when? Can’t say, but for sure!

From stone age to highly industrial age, our planet earth has seen it all. The graduation of the human race from homo-sapience to highly evolved humans of today, earth has been gleefully fulfilling all our needs, wants and luxuries. But now the time has come to stand up and take notice that even Oil age will end long before the world runs out of oil.

Times started changing with the consistent technological advancements from the times of the Industrial Revolution in the 1850s. As our culture advanced and we invented many things to make our lives not only convenient but also luxurious, it stretched the demand for raw materials, for which mother earth is the source.

In the race for development, we have forgotten that resources such as water, air, minerals, forests, oils etc. are available in limited quantities. There is a need for conserve these of natural resources which are becoming scarce with the passage of time.

In the words of Subhajit Mukherji, Brand Ambassador, Govt. of India’s Jal Shakti Abhiyaan and famed environmentalist, who has been credited with planting over 50,000 trees in Mumbai, “Environment is the biggest treasure which we humans have inherited, hence it is our moral duty to preserve it, take care of it and love it so that our future generations inherit it or else we would face extinction like dinosaurs.”  

Earlier human life was very close to nature, with the establishment of large and heavy industries after the Industrial Revolution, heavy exploitation of nature started taking place because of which earth’s natural resources came under heavy pressure. Still, no one bothered to think about it, till earth started experiencing “Climate Change”.  There is a gross violation of the rules of nature, indicates IPCC’s report on climate change.

Are we leaving planet earth liveable for our future generations, questions Swedish Student Environment Activist, Greta Thunberg when she says, “Now we probably don’t even have a future anymore? Because that future was sold so that a small number of people could make unimaginable amounts of money.”

The environment is being damaged in the name of development and the recent case in question is cutting of 2200 trees to make Metro Car Shed, Mumbai which invited ire of activists. Aarey is the only green lung of Mumbai and if that is disturbed, all hell will break loose in the form of climatic disturbances. Metros like Mumbai are facing environmental havoc in the form of incessant floods, untimely rains, a long spell of summers, global warming what not! But the sad part is neither the Government nor Public is bothered about this phenomenon.

It is business as usual scenario, they love their luxury cars, well-electrified homes, well – equipped offices and consistent supply of fossil fuels to run their lives. Have they ever thought that this humongous usage of fossil fuels is leading to carbon emissions which is polluting planet earth beyond measure? All of are mutely watching what is happening in our national capital, which has converted into a gas chamber.

If we think, the environment is his issue and not mine, that is not the case. Every conscious citizen must care for the environment and contribute to his / her might for its protection and preservation.

The problem is growing at alarming proportions due to over-consumption of natural resources. If this pattern of energy usage continues with overutilization of fossil fuels, the day is not far when our future generations may not inherit them. Time to think about it is NOW! Lifelike this is unimaginable, but we need to imagine.

The on-going developmental activities world over have created environment-related problems on earth as the usage exceeds the speed of their natural replenishment. Increasing pollution, global warming, industrialization and other processes have accentuated the depletion of natural resources.

 “You cannot protect the environment unless you empower people, you inform them, and you help them understand that these resources are their own, that they must protect them.” —Wangari Maathai

My entry for #JaipurLitFest




Mumbai Concrete Jungle & Japanese Miyawaki Jungle? Connection??

Yes, there is a connection? IIT B, host to the very thick plantation and hordes of trees all over the campus is a rare sight in Mumbai which is home to innumerable residential and commercial skyscrapers, flyovers, highways, road, rail and metro network. Do we ever give time to think how much green cover has been lost in the race of infra development? Latest being Metro Car shed coming up in the green lung of Mumbai – Aarey colony. What to say of massive uprooting of plants/trees across Mumbai for Metro routes!

Like many of us, the scenario hurt Subhajit Mukherjee who left his rewarding corporate job to plant trees all over Mumbai. Yes, you heard me right. He is the one responsible for greenery in Mumbai who has planted over 50,000 trees in an around Mumbai. His love for trees/ greenery dates back to his childhood when his grandfather in Allahabad use to take him for plant selection for the back yard of his Bungalow.

Later in life, he realised his calling is there, amidst trees. He is the founder of Mission Green Mumbai and known Environmentalist, who has taken the onus on himself to sensitize citizens of Mumbai towards the importance of greenery. En route IITB, we visited Aarey Nursery where I got to know so much about various plants there. It was an experience, I loved it over a picnic, where I was just amidst plants, trees and greenery.

He interacted with a young team of IIT Bombay recently, who was invited for his guidance for making surroundings green – Indoor and Outdoor to keep AC away in summers. The team enjoyed the interaction very much as he showed the importance of greenery and even a small step in the direction can make a valuable contribution towards climate change. He suggested creating a dense forest on the window of the office which will have a cool effect, besides some dense plants, flower beds and what not.

As “Green Man” he was delighted to be in IIT B because of its green environs. He suggested: let’s make it greener by creating Miyawaki Forest. I knew nothing about Miyawaki forest…he briefly told me that it is dense forest which can be created on a small piece of land, and it is so thick that you have to water trees from outside only. I said wow! Even I can water them.

So, for the uninitiated Miyawaki, it is a method of afforestation/planting trees which involves the planting a number of different types of trees close together in a small pit. By closely planting many random trees close together in a small area enriches the green cover and reinforces the richness of the land. This will lead to co-existence of plants and as a matter of fact, each plant draws from the other vital nutrients and they grow to become strong and healthy.

The speed with which forest cover is depleting, where century-old trees are being brought down in a few hours, though this loss is irreversible. But the solution lies in creating Miyawaki forests, which is a method of tree plantation grows saplings 10 times fast and the forest is 30 times denser. In just 2 years the forest growth is unimaginable.

Don’t you think Miyawaki forest is the answer to cities which are turning to concrete jungles? A small patch of forests in multiple locations within the city will act as a green lung for the metro.

A word about the person from whom this concept originated – Akira Miyawaki from Japan is advocating the value of natural forests and the urgent need to restore them from the last four decades.

Akira Miyawaki is a Japanese botanist and expert in plant ecology, specializing in seeds and the study of natural forests. He is active worldwide as a specialist in the restoration of natural vegetation on degraded land. Since 1993, he has been Professor Emeritus at Yokohama National University and Director of the Japanese Center for International Studies in Ecology. He received the Blue Planet Prize in 2006.

Our salute to Miyawaki and our home-grown Dr Chetan Singh Solanki, Prof. IITB and Solar Energy Pioneer who are doing remarkable work towards creating awareness about green, clean energy access to the world and Subhajit Mukherjee, Environmentalist who is showing the way to Mumbaikars for greener Mumbai.

Currently, Dr Solanki is on a Global mission to sensitize people particularly young generation towards menace of climate change and how it can be countered with renewable energy sources like Solar Energy.

Proud to be associated with him in Gandhi Global Solar Yatra…which is going places literally, not just in India but across continents!

You can visit http://www.ggsy.in to know more, and if you choose to donate, pls do and be a part of this mission which is bound to bring the change.

IITB: Indian Institute of Technology Bombay

Special Thanks to Swati Kalwar for organising this interaction!


How a small initiative turned into a major movement!

From last many years I have been nurturing a desire to contribute something to the society but could never figure out how to accomplish this secret desire. Whenever I expressed this to my circle of friends and acquaintances, they discouraged me saying – this coming from fashion, lifestyle & travel journalist – तुमसे न हो पायेगा!

I never believed in the saying: अगर आपकी कोई इच्छा है, तो सारी कायनात उसे पूरा करने में जुट जाती है! Till Mission Green Mumbai happened in my life.

I still vividly remember my first call to Subhajit Mukherjee sometime in July 2017 few days before Change of Guard when Mr Mayur Shah was taking over as President, CREDAI – MCHI in a grand ceremony at Taj. He is a man on a mission to make Mumbai, Green, Cleaner & Skilled abode for all Mumbaikars. I had noticed him working on Link Road where he was relocating trees from the Metro route. After speaking to him, I was delighted to note that he was the same person, working for the cause of Mumbai & Mumbaikars!

It was decided to honour Mr Subhajit Mukherjee for his immense contribution towards Green Mumbai during the function. I invited Mr Mukherjee for the same and he happily obliged. He was there on time, smiling and friendly Subhajit accompanied by shy wife struck a chord immediately with all of us. & the association rolled & there was no looking back since!

In association with our Women’s wing we planted trees at various venues in Mumbai but unfortunately, I could not join this activity and I still regret that.

Then followed CREDAI – MCHI Maha Property Expo in November, where Subhajit offered to distribute free saplings to all the participants and the visitors attended the program. The initiative turned out to be super hit with visitors and Subhajit happily interacted and encouraged them to take selfies at the selfie booth. I must say, with his Green Mission, he became a star attraction.

Now, it seems that time has come for my DREAM!

Our organization CREDAI – MCHI has collaborated with Mission Green Mumbai (NGO) to plant 1 lakh trees all over Mumbai, which I am anchoring and have associated with this GREEN initiative of our organization. On Earth Day on April 22, we are undertaking tree – plantation and beach – cleaning drive at Dadar Beach where Mr Aaditya Thackeray, President – Yuva Sena will be Chief Guest. Since his confirmation, the occasion has taken the form of a movement with many celebrities like Dia Mirza and Shibani Kashyap joining in. INS Hamla lending logistic support, this is for the first time that they have lent support to any Civilian program.

Led by our President, Mr Mayur Shah, many Managing Committee Members would be planting coconut trees on the beach.

The seed of this program was germinated by our ideas man T. D.Joseph. You are invited to join the green initiative on Sunday, April 22 (Earth Day) at Dadar Beach between 8:00 am and 11:00 am.  Your efforts will have the support of other concerned leaders, organizations, NGO and media representatives who will also be present.

Let’s all work together to make Mumbai a Greener and Cleaner City.  Your presence is much needed to encourage citizens to keep beaches clean, increase the green cover and stop the use of single-use plastic products.

I am closely associated with this program, why don’t you too, whichever you want to!

मैं अकेला ही चला था जानिब-ए-मंज़िल मगर लोग साथ आते गये और कारवां बनता गया

This is for Subhajit Mukherjee! Knowing him has brought in me an attitudinal change towards our social responsibility of making Mumbai Green which we want our future generations to inherit. It is my good fortune to have known him and associating with him.

Let’s Plant Trees/Adopt a Plant Together/You are needed to do your bit for Mumbai