Planting the Seeds of Hope
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SEPTEMBER 29, 2009

What a wonderful story this is from the BBC! It's about an Indian civil servant, SM Raju, who just led an effort to break the world record for the number of trees planted in one day - but that's really the least of his achievements.
He took advantage of an Indian government commitment to guarantee families living below the poverty line 100 days of work a year, and used monies from this program to employ villagers to plant and protect trees. In his state, Bihar, almost half the population is below the poverty line, and on 30 August alone 300,000 of them planted trees that they will tend over the coming years in return for a living wage.
SM Raju's initiative not only has environmental and economic benefits, it brings hope to communities that had been hopeless. As a result, fewer people are moving away from the area. And with his success story attracting more attention to the government policy that made it possible, it's quite likely others across the country will seek to replicate it.
Read the story: Meeting India's tree planting guru
Read this blog entry in its original location:

Eazibee hails from the UK but now lives in New York, where she works as a consultant - focused on health and environmental issues in developing countries - alongside raising a young family. She devotes any free time she has left to screenwriting and blogging. Reasons to be Hopeful is her principal blog, which she started in October 2007 in an effort to counter the negativity dominating the mainstream newswires. She aims to capture good news from across the world, reflecting the positive experiences of many different communities. Please feel free to send any good stories you come across to eazibee(at)