Due to the heavy rains of the monsoon season, the 20-acre Himalayan Institute Energy Farming demonstration site at the Tibetan Rabgayling Settlement was completely overgrown with grass. This threatened to choke the young Pongamia pinnata seedlings that were planted earlier this year. The grass was so tall that it was difficult to see where the Pongamia pinnata seedlings were. Using a machine to cut the grass would risk cutting down some of the trees in the process, so many hands would be needed to cut back the grass without harming the trees.
The local Tibetan Himalayan Institute staff quickly realized they wouldn’t be able to fight the grass off alone, so they sought the support of the local Tibetan community and organized a “Public Contribution Day.” The community responded to the call for action gladly and offered their support to protect their community tree plantation.
After a World AIDS Day event and a prayer session at the Community Hall, dozens of local Tibetans joined the Himalayan Institute staff to clear the grass by hand. Tea and refreshments were served. The event was so successful that several more Public Contribution Days were organized, with over 150 people volunteering in total.
Any project that has strong community backing is bound to be successful. The Himalayan Institute Energy Farming team is incredibly grateful for all of the support.