Green ‘S’ Force Planting Days–1-2 June 2013
The Shah Satnam Ji Green ‘S’ Welfare Force was formed in India by Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan in 2006. Originally intended to help humanity in distress by mobilising during natural disasters, the organisation today has expanded its membership and scope.
Today the Green ‘S’ Welfare Force has over 30 million volunteers operating around the world. In addition to disaster relief work, they are also involved in environmental clean up projects, blood donor drives, anti-drug campaigns and tree planting to help the environment.
All of the members work or go to school during the week and devote their weekends to volunteer service.
The Green ‘S’ Welfare Force in New Zealand works closely with local government councils and other community organisations assisting with tree planting and other conservation projects. Earlier this year, the NZ representatives of the Green S Welfare Force visited CUE Haven and we discussed our work and vision and they agreed to help us with our ambitious planting plans for the 2013 planting season.
On June 1st and 2nd we had our first planting weekend and a total of 22 volunteers from Green S Welfare Force came to help out for the two days. The team consisted of Amit, Bharpoor, Captain, Hardev, Jagdeep, Jaspreet, Jugseer, Karamjit, Karan, Kuldeep, Meenu, Naujot, Nisha, Raj, Ramesh, Ranjit, Sakinder, Samandeep, Sandeep, Simar, Suhas, baby Sukhnoor and Vinod.
The team arrived before 8.30 on Saturday morning and we got acquainted over morning tea.
Mahrukh and Tom then gave an orientation to the CUE Haven project and a safety briefing before the team headed up to the planting site.
The area we were planting presented a number of challenges. It is a remote corner of the property where no one has gone since we stopped grazing cattle in 2009. In February, we prepared the area by having all of the weeds and grass sprayed. We had the grass cut before the spraying, but there are some wetlands and very steep areas that can’t be cut so the grass gets very high. The team had to contend with steep slopes and tall dead grass in some of the areas.
And some of the wetland areas near the boundary with neighbouring farmers were particularly challenging!
But the team coped very well with these challenges and quickly moved onto other areas.
The team was dedicated and energetic and planted trees at an amazing pace. It was a challenge to keep up with them. In addition to planting, some team members helped bring up and lay out trees to be planted.
Ranjit took charge of driving the ute and delivering plants as well as team members to the planting site.
The hard working team also took their breaks in the field and the ute came in handy there as well.
We’d like to thank Nestle New Zealand for providing the team with breakfast cereals, Nescafe, Milo, iced tea and drink bottles which were much appreciated by all the volunteers.
Speaking of food, Sakinder and Hardev kept the group happy with fantastic lunches and dinners.
Hardev helped out in the kitchen and in the field.
Sakinder and Jugseer’s little son, Suknoor, was the youngest planter this weekend.
And on Saturday afternoon, our good friend Maurico also stopped by to help out for the afternoon. Thanks Mauricio!!
The Green S Welfare Force team worked until dusk on both Saturday and Sunday.
But it was not all work, and after dinner on Saturday night the team walked up the gully to check out the glow worms along the walking track. A couple of the guys decided to ‘entertain’ the others by narrating scary tales while they were trekking up in the dark, so it turned into a very memorable yet enjoyable walk in the woods.
The team planted a phenomenal number of trees considering the challenging planting conditions.
We had a great time working with the team and really appreciate their enthusiasm, dedication hard work and commitment to making our planet a better place through their selfless volunteer work. Thank you all so very, very much. We look forward to having you back at CUE Haven again.