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Merck and PATT Indian 3-State planting hailed a “fantastic success”


ORGANISERS of an innovative event that saw 300 volunteers branch out across India to plant over 2,000 saplings in just one day are hailing the event a complete success.

The ‘All 10’ Tree Planting Project saw Merck and the PATT (Plant A tree Today) Foundation join forces to simultaneously plant trees in three Indian states.

Now 8-months on, project leads say the initiative, which involved planting in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Goa, is flourishing beyond all expectations.

The events originally kicked off on October 10, 2010 (10/10/10) at 10:10am.

In Mumbai, Merck Managing Director Marek Dziki planted the first sapling – joined by other special guests and PATT Foundation India Country Manager Vashitwa Mishra. Within just one-and-a-half hours, Merck and local volunteers had worked tirelessly on INS Hamla grounds to plant 250 coconut saplings.

Meanwhile dedicated environmentalist Tukaram Ramchandra Prabhu had organised a planting session on his land as part of the Goa tree plantation project, while coconut plantation expert of 40-years V.K. Nair also generously provided land for a similar event in Bengalur, both supported by Merck and local volunteers.

Mr Mishra said the 3 planting events had proven to be a “fantastic success”.

“I would like to thank Merck and all those who donated land and their time; they all made this special project such an achievement,” he said.

“Nothing like this had ever been done before; it was amazing to be part of such a wide-spread event and to see the enthusiasm of both the Merck and local volunteers.”

Mr Mishra explained that to ensure PATT’s survival rate of 90 per cent was met, the highest persistence rates in the country – only good-quality saplings were selected with height of at least 4 feet. Volunteers had to dug pits more than 2 feet deep and then add mature to ensure the saplings had the best start in life. Now PATT volunteers continue to nature and supervise the plantations to ensure they continue to thrive.

He added: “1010 saplings were planted in Mumbai, 500 in Bengaluru, while 510 were planted in Goa as part of this project. We have exceeded all expectations.

“As part of Merck amazing support for PATT, workers also planted 10,000 trees in Thailand to mark the Indian initiative. We are delighted Merck continue to support other international tree-planting schemes with PATT.”