In the move to join Environment and Peace together as very important issue in present days, Mission Bhartiyam alongwith other organizations organized 3rd Tree for Harmony campaign in seven countries, namely India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri lanka, Sudan and Cameroon.
Tree for Harmony campaign is an initiative of Mission Bhartiyam, started since the year 2012, wherein the organization invites collaborations from other organizations to observe a week long campaign (from World Ozone Layer Protection day 16 Sep to World Peace day 21 Sep) every year, with the theme of Environment and Peace.
During the week, all organizations plant a tree and to symbolize it with the objective of harmony. In their first and second year, Mission Bhartiyam collaborated and organized it in Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh and received a great response from other organizations of other countries. Now, in the third year organizations of other countries also collaborated and together they organized and observed it in seven countries.
During this year of campaign, many events were held including drawing, talk, tree plantation etc on the theme of environment and peace and therefore address the twin challenges together.
In Bangladesh, DREAM ON observed Tree for Harmony initiative. DREAM ON is a nonprofit organization & global network based on Bangladesh who believes on the power of dream. They Celebrated this in Chan Mia Housing, Mohammadpur, Dhaka, Bangladesh. They had planted the “Harmony Tree” and conducted a discussion on environment and environmental initiatives being taken at their office premises.
In Cameroon, ASSOCIATION FOR COMMUNITY AWARENESS (ASCOA) had observed Tree for Harmony initiative. ASCOA is a Cameroon-based organisation. They are actively working in the field of Peace and Human Rights.ASCOA had organized Tree for Harmony in two schools – Government Secondary School Liongo-Buea and Holy Child Bilingual Comprehensive college Bomaka-Buea.
In both the schools, they had planted the symbolic Harmony tree and communicated the concept. Along with the tree plantation, they had organized two talks on both environment and peace and a painting competition. In the talk on environment, they told the students about the contemporary environmental problems. They briefed them about the climate change and the need for the protection of ozone layer. The students were told about the ways in which they can contribute to save the environment by planting and protecting trees. They were also guided on tree plantation. They were told not to plant trees like the eucalyptus because it destroys the soil than it protect the environment since it drains a lot.
In the talk on peace, they talked about the need for peace building around the world, our communities and within ourselves. The reasons for the conflict as well as the ways to resolve it were also communicated.
A drawing and painting competition on environment was also organized in both the schools.
In Delhi, Mission Bhartiyam organized its aman chaupal session for Indo-Pak peace wherein someone from Pakistan interacts with students. Mission Bhartiyam organized two aman chaupal sessions at AAM Foundation centres. After the session, a harmony tree was planted in both the centres.
AAM Foundation is an NGO that provides free english classes. In addition to enabling students to learn English, they also help students to develop critical thinking, become self-reliant and develop self-confidence and to develop a sense of community.
In Gurgaon, Aravindam Foundation is an NGO active in the fields of education and environment – the fundamentals of sustainable growth and development.The Gurukul Kalpataru established and managed by Fundacja Aravindam organised a Musical afternoon with its children in celebration of the Tree for harmony week. The Gurukul children planted a Belpatra sapling in their temple complex situated in the Kamdhenudham Gaushala, Carterpuri.
In Dehradun, Purkal Youth Development Society (PYDS) observed tree for harmony. PYDS is a registered charity organisation dedicated to enhancing the lives of disadvantaged rural youth through education and empowering women through skill development. They celebrated Tree For Harmony with the children of PYDS school.
In India, many organizations and individuals supported and observed the campaign. At many places, volunteers of Mission Bhartiyam observed the campaign by planting a harmony tree at their home or workplace.
In Nepal, Human Action for Peace, Prosperity and Sustainable Development (HAPPS) had observed Tree for Harmony. Human Action for Peace, Prosperity and Sustainable Development (HAPPS) is a non-profit organization working in the field of education, youth empowerment, youth issues, environment, etc.
HAPPS had organized TREE FOR HARMONY:2014 at Durbar High School, Ranipokhari in Kathmandu. The event was organized in four sessions: a) Inauguration of event by planting about 25 trees in barren ground of school premises. b) Discussion and posters/pamphlets displaying c) Awareness through songs/music (2 National folk singers sang songs carrying awareness regarding need of peace/harmony/brotherhood and healthy environment in our society)
In Pakistan, Youth Association for Development (YAD), a Pakistan-based NGO working in the fields of Peace and Human Rights had observed Tree for Harmony in Quetta district in Balochistan Province. They had organised a discussion on peace. They dedicated it for Indo-Pak peace. They talked about the relevance for Indo-Pak peace and the initiatives being taken in this regard.
In Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka United Nations Friendship Organisation (SUNFO) had observed Tree for Harmony. SUNFO is a non –political, non-racial and non-sectarian organization that seeks to unite all peoples into a movement working for the well- being, harmony and peace of mankind according to the principles of the United Nations. SUNFO had planted the symbolic harmony tree. Alongwith the tree plantation, they had organized a talk to disseminate the relevance of the cause.
In Sudan, Peace Bridge Association organized Tree for Harmony initiative. Peace Bridge Association(PBA) is devoted to reduce tension and conflicts amongst Sudanese communities through promotion of situations of youth and children in difficult circumstances, by introducing the sustainable solutions of empowerment, capacity building and support in the main sectors of Peace building, Street children and Human Rights. PBA had organized Tree for Harmony in Alkiriab basic school. They had planted the symbolic Harmony Tree and explained its relevance. Alongwith the tree plantation, they had organized discussions on environment and peace.
Peace Bridge Association plans to visit the school every two months and see how the trees are growing and to continue to give awareness about the need for peace.
Concept of Tree for Harmony
A war cannot achieve what peace can. The forces of peace can rule over ignorance and superstition, over illiteracy, over disease and physical suffering, over poverty and oppression. The conquests of peace are nonviolent and bloodless. They cause no grief to humanity and do not damage life or property. War causes streams of blood and untold havoc. The victory of peace leaves no maimed limbs or mutilated bodies, no ruined cities or scorched fields. Like peace, brotherhood can do wonders. Instead of walking alone, if we have a companion, the journey becomes easier. We don‟t have to struggle alone. We aim for this. We want to initiate friendship, brotherhood and peace in the entire world. And for this, we turn to “our evergreen friends” – trees. What can be more symbolic of these values than a tree? A tree grows freely, digs its roots deeply and also gives life to other trees. It is a symbol of stability, growth and prosperity.
A tree also grows freely, without any discrimination. And this is the message that we want to send. Like trees, we should do away with barriers of caste, religion, ethnicity and others boundaries. Like trees, we should grow together. For this, Mission Bhartiyam, an India-based organisation, has initiated “Tree for harmony Week”. Tree for Harmony Week (TFH week) is celebrated between 16th September (World Ozone Day) and 21st September (World Peace Day). During Tree for Harmony week, we plant a symbolic tree labeled as “Harmony Tree” and try to disseminate the concept and message for a healthy environment and society through a discussion, painting, essay programme or any other relevant awareness programme. TFH week is observed by creating a network. Mission Bhartiyam observes TFH by collaborating with different organisations around the world.
So by this event, the twin challenges of environment and the need for peace will be addressed. TFH seeks to make people aware and sensitive about the need for a sustainable environment and a peaceful society.