Reviving India’s lost desert forest.
Maruvan is an ambitious project; a nursery, a tree seed bank and a forest.
Our goal is not only to create a forest and restore biodiversity but also to build a Research Center for reforestation. While researching for native trees species, we came to the realization that India does not hold an authentic tree seed bank. Maruvan will be a destination for anyone in India who’s in researching native trees, seeds as well as techniques for reforestation on arid terrain.
Forest Maker Afforestt
“Maruvan will be a destination for anyone in India who’s in researching native trees, seeds as well as techniques for reforestation on arid terrain.”
— Shubhendu Sharma
Rajasthan, the Desert State of India, has always been considered barren land. With this in mind, it has become one of the most ignored places for ecological restoration.
Due to overfarming, the common factors of degraded land and eroded topsoil are predominant. The time is now to revive the Thar Desert which has the potential of growing a forest.
Maruvan (Maru + van) means ‘Forest of the Desert’
Our goal is to plant along the Meethadi river which has its point of origin on ‘Maruvan’ and runs for 80km.
Today, every time the river floods during monsoons, it expands tremendously! Trees along the riverbank will avoid erosion. Our attempt will be to convert the Meethadi river from a seasonal (flows only during the Monsoons) to perianal (flows whole year) river.
About 4km from the Maruvan location, lies a town called Khejarli.
The name of the town is derived from Khejri (Prosopis cineraria) trees that were once abundant in the village. In this village 363 Bishnois sacrificed their lives, in 1731, while protecting green Khejri that were considered sacred by the community.
We found a book, called Roonkh Satsai, in a school close to our land.
The book describes plantlife in Rajasthan, and its importance in relation to balanced environment and human welfare and health. The poet in Laxman Danji Kaviya has in a way enlivened the importance of plantation in the desolate desert where the surface is covered by wind-blown shifting sand dunes.
In the last one year, we have learned that with just a little positive human intervention, nature bounces back at an exponential rate. This is a great example of how land devastated can be brought back to its natural equilibrium and restored to its natural glory.
— Gaurav Gurjar