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The Green Carpet


"Come on dadu. today is Sunday. I have a lot of time. We will go and spend some time in the forest." Raju liked to spend time in the forest very much. He always went to the forest, which was in the outskirts of his village, with his grandfather, whenever he found time. Raju lived in a small village along with his parents and grandfather.

That day, while walking along with his dadu, Raju found something unusual. His dadu, who was usually very energetic and bright, was a little dull. Raju was wondering what could have happened. He asked his dadu, "what happened dadu? Why are you so dull?"

His dadu responded with a faint smile. Something was going in his mind. He was very disturbed about the forest which was shrinking in size, day by day. He had grown playing and roaming in the forest. During his times, there were only a handful of families in the village, and the forest was supplying everything it could do to the villagers to help in their daily chores. It was not affecting the forest also, as the demand was very low. But as time went by, the population of the village increased but the forest was the only source for fuelwood and other such things.

Raju's dadu was much worried about the future of the forest and it's inhabitants which were many rare animals. He talked about this to Raju. Though Raju could understand only a bit, he could realize that the forest would not be the same in another five years, if the same situation prevailed. They went to the forest, played sometime, enjoyed the sweet songs of the birds and came back home.

The next morning Raju went to the terrace of his house to have a look at the forest, which he usually did every morning. "Ah! The green carpet..." he exclaimed. That's how he called the forest. The forest which was far away from his house looked like a big green carpet when he looked from the terrace. Raju liked seeing this very much and it always gave him a nice feeling. Suddenly he remembered his dadu's words.

'Will my green carpet fade away in some years?' he started thinking. He felt very bad. He wanted to do something to keep the forest alive which has been a silent protector of the villages nearby for all these years.

Some days later, Raju along with his dadu went to a town nearby for a small mela. Raju was very excited as he went on buying many toys, books and much more. In a small tent a documentary was being shown and they both went on to see that. It was about the use of biogas digestors and the people who were showing that were from a NGO from a nearby town.

Raju and his dadu were thinking the same thing at that time. They talked in detail about the biogas units with the NGO members. After their talks they realized that using the biogas will be very helpful in saving the forest. They went back to their village with bright ideas and shared the same with the villagers.

It seemed as if just a start was needed which was rightly provided by Raju and his dadu. Work began in full swing with the help of the NGO. The villagers also provided all the help possible. Within sometime, they got the first biogas digestor installed in Raju's house, and it continued slowly to other houses also.

Now in Raju's village, almost every house has got a biogas digester installed. The lifestyle today has largely improved.

The villagers have formed a society and are getting benefits of various useful ideas. They have used the artificial insemination programme to improve the quality of their cattle, planted trees to become self reliant for fuelwood requirements and some have built biogas units for the entire family to take care of lighting and energy for the family. Most importantly biogas units are used for cooking, thereby reducing the strain of the women in bringing wood from the forest for fuel and also from the smoke and heat. Also the by-product of this is used as manure for the plants which in turn gives good yield.

In this way, the biogas units have reduced the need of getting wood from the forest to a great extent thereby protecting the forest from shrinking. Today when Raju went to his terrace to see the forest, he was not having the fear of losing his 'Green Carpet'.

"You will be there always. my Green Carpet" he said. His dadu patted his back and said, looking at the forest, "You are right, Raju... Till date we were served by the forest.. Now we have left it for-rest.."

Contributing Story Teller Sripriya, Interested in Creative writing, poetry writing, writing rhymes with Indian concepts for children and short stories related to environment. [email protected]

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