Israel's success inspires Rajasthani man to enrich environment

Kishore Khimawat, a diamond merchant by profession, has planted over 1.75 lakh Neem plants

PTI | June 5, 2010




Inspired by the green cover in the desert area of Israel, a man is determined to transform the Thar desert by undertaking massive plantation on his own.

Kishore Khimawat, a diamond merchant by profession, has so far planted over 1.75 lakh Neem plants in the district.

The green cover along many roads in the region reflects the dedication and hard work behind the plantation work done by him.

Not only road sides, but hospitals, schools and institute premises also have green cover due to the efforts of Khimawat, who hails from Khimel village, about 60 kms from Pali in Rajasthan, and is now settled in Mumbai.

"Over 1.75 lakh saplings on several road sides, in a total area of 290 kms, have been planted in the district so far with cent per cent survival rate," Khimawat told PTI.

The 58-year-old diamond businessman has been inspired by mass plantations in the desert of Israel.

"I have observed the success of mass-plantation in the desert of Israel and want to replicate the same plan over here. In Israel, large plantations caused heavy rainfall in desert areas.

"The objective of the plantation is to build an environment-friendly and healthy Rajasthan by raising oxygen levels and maintaining the eco-balance. This will go hand in hand with development," he said.

Khimawat has his own complete set up for plantation and maintenance works.

He has a staff of 40 members, one JCB machine, a few water tankers, tractor trollies and tubewells for watering the plants, a nursery to prepare samplings and a factory to manufacture tree guards.

"We first prepare neem saplings in our nursery and then plant them after three years in pits dug three months in advance. My staff members take care of all the plants from time to time to ensure their survival and proper growth," he said.

He started the initiative in 2003 and set up his own nursery to prepare Neem saplings for the massive plantation in 2005.

"Experts suggested that I plant Neem which grows even in adverse conditions, offering maximum greenery which in turn attracts rainfall and keeps the environment healthy," he said, adding, that he comes to Pali every month to monitor work on regular basis.

"Now I intend to extend the programme to other areas in the coming days which would include Jodhpur, Nagaur and surrounding places," he said.

Khimawat has also worked for water conservation in the region since 2001.

He has got several awards for plantation, including one from the state government.

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