TODAY -

'Slingshot Anish' emerging as environment activist
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, May 30 2022: Every individual's efforts count when it comes to conservation of the natural environment and 'Slingshot Anish' is emerging as a rare environment activist from among the Meetei Pangal community with his peculiar way of conserving environment using a slingshot.

Anish Ahmad, a 30-year-old resident of Kwakta Ward No 7 has a peculiar way of conserving nature with his slingshot, with which he disperses seeds of different fruit plants mixed with soil so that they could grow wherever they landed without the need for planting the seeds individually.

He grew up as an ardent lover of nature and wildlife since early childhood and motivated to plant fruit plants by his father Md Abdul Ajij, who is no more.

Abdul Ajij often encouraged him to plant seeds of fruits they ate at home Anish used to plant those seeds in his homestead land, open ground, river banks and roadsides.

He studied at Anita Standard High School Kwakta up to 10th standard and completed 12th class from Moirang Multipurpose Higher Secondary School.

He graduated in Geography Honours from Moirang College and completed MA in Geography from Manipur University.

He mastered the art of planting seeds and grooming them when he was studying in class 12.There was a time Anish almost gave up his hobby of planting seeds when his father passed away while he was preparing for his final semester for graduation.

However, he made up his mind to walk the path his father taught with the thought of doing something good for the society as well as other living beings.

He has never sought help from anybody in his endeavour as he took a pledge to continue conservation and protection of environment until his last breath.

According to him, not only planting trees can save environment but it needs a joint effort from all and protection of wildlife, which help in scattering seeds of trees and germinating them.

Anish has been carrying out his activism as a lone wolf in nearby school campuses, roadsides, river banks, and hillsides of Churachandpur district including Thangjing hill range.

So far, he has planted over 12,000 tree saplings all by himself.

On seeing his dedication, many youths are now approaching him to join his activism and seeking tree saplings from him.

As a result of his continued efforts, the once denuded surroundings of Kwakta are now filled with natural greenery.

Residents of his village can now enjoy the taste of a variety of fruits, which he planted since his childhood in the locality.

Interestingly, he has also become a source of inspiration for the local residents many of whom are now planting a variety of fruit trees in their homestead land and surrounding areas.

Anish started a nursery plant of his own several years back after consulting with forest department officials on preparing tree saplings.

He is also providing tree saplings to interested individuals or organisations.

Planting a sapling is the easy part as grooming them is the difficult one.

In this front too, he has been using his own resources and money to set up fence for protecting the tree saplings from cattle.

He said that planting saplings by digging the earth is a time consuming task with poor output.

In order to solve the issue, he recalled advices of elders and started using a slingshot to disperse seeds of easy to grow fruits like Indian blackberry (jam), Indian plum (Boroi), Orange, lime (Champra), stink bean (Yongchak) among others by mixing them with soil to make projectiles.

He shoots those projectiles in the hillsides so that the seeds could grow up wherever they land.

He has been using this technique successfully to grow fruit plants in the wild for the last seven or eight years.

So far, Anish has dispersed and planted around 1 lakh seeds through this innovative technique.

On seeing his dedication towards conserving nature, forest department officials often visit him and inspect the saplings he planted while presenting him with certificate of recognition for his contribution.

He had also run several marathons carrying the message of environmental conservation in different parts of the state as well as Shillong, Meghalaya.

Moreover, he had run several marathons with the message of protecting Sangai, Loktak and forest covers in Bishnupur district, Anish confided.


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