Environmentalist uses ‘Drone’ and ‘Seed Ball’ to create ‘Green Belt’ in Odisha

In an unique initiative towards afforestation, young environmentalist Subhranshu Satpathy has started planting trees in difficult terrains of Odisha with the help of drone. His work is not limited to just Odisha, but also to Raipur, Chennai and Navi Mumbai and he is also reaching out to students and communities with environment workshops.

An alumnus of TISS and a student of Cinematography, Subhranshu is now a household name and an inspiration to the younger generation, when it comes to conservation of forest and environment, for his use of technology to ensure greenery and sustainable environment, thus help creating green belt in entire Odisha.

Son of a senior forest department official, Subhranshu draws his inspiration from his mother, who uses to keep water pots for the thirsty birds at their home. He started conducting workshops on making seed balls and placing water pots in schools and institutions from 2008. So far he has also distributed 32000 water pots in various locations.

This year Subhranshu and has environmentalist friends have done aerial reforestation covering entire Odisha with the help of drone dropping over one lakhs of seed balls.

Speaking to News Sense, Subhranshu Satpathy, “It is true that no one plants a tree in the forest, but trees are created automatically. It is a natural process. Keeping this in mind, seed ball concept came to mind and we started to work on seed ball 6 years ago. Now with the help of drones, it is being possible for us to plant the forest area with less vegetation. Seed balls and drones have become easy ways to create new forests, but it also needs to be expanded further.

Seed balls are earthen balls where seeds of big trees like Arjun, Jamoon were placed and are covered with natural compost forming a clay ball and left it for dry. Once they get dried, they are thrown over areas which are in accessible to reach and needs plantation.

Subhranshu says, “we drop the seed balls once before the monsoon and then after the monsoon, as with rain water the seeds get wet and sprouts comes out and naturally plantation starts.

Along with plantation he along with his friends are conducting environment awareness workshops at educational institutions and youth groups helping them understand the importance of up keeping of environment and helping them learn the preparation and benefits of seed balls. He is also educating students to create green belt near their school, home and village with the help of seed ball.

Cutting down big trees in large number for commercial benefits is the trend now, while the efforts to plant more trees have slowed down everywhere in the world. But now, technology can be used to increase the speed of plantation, the way Subhranshu does and which can be a solution to deforestation.