Youth Interviews: Environmental Activists – Monu Vishvakarma

Meet 29-year-old Monu from Ganj Basoda.Brought up by his grandmother, Monu has struggled with a tragic past when he lost both his parents at a young age. It was through Prasoon—tdh partner that Monu got in touch with the youth network. At the time Monu had quit his studies due to austerity at home and started working as a worker at a stone quarry. With help from the youth network, he was able to complete his education and now even coaches children from the village free of cost.

Monu’s village UrdoniPatharin Vidisha District is primarily a stone area where most people work as workers in the quarry. The area is completely arid with no sight of greenery. Monu, along with the youth from the network,planted saplings of 140 variants and 116 trees. In no time did they convert the village area from a region of stones and concrete to a green pasture. Soon their initiatives spread out to achieve greater results.

Due to the extreme dry weather all the wells in Monu’s village had dried up. The community did not pay attention to it initially, however, Monu and all the other youth decided to conserve rain water in the wells. They collectively cleaned the wells and harvested rain water in the wells. 150 families in the village were able to use well water, especially during the Covid lockdown where sourcing water for drinking also had become difficult.

Monu and the youth network worked extensively to provide families in the village with kitchen gardens using organic manure. Approximately, 80 families benefitted from their kitchen gardens and 150 families from water from the well. In what can be called as an incredible achievement, the entire village used their kitchen gardens to source vegetables and fresh organic produce during the Covid lockdown. Monu’s endeavours tell us that with the right will, pastures can grow in stones