Right To Breath

Peepal Trees to Help Delhi Get Rid of Toxic
Air: His Holiness Swami Advaitananda Giri Ji

Delhi, the bustling capital city of India, has been grappling with severe air pollution for several years. The toxic air has become a major concern for the residents and the government alike. However, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. His Holiness Swami Advaitananda Giri Ji, a renowned spiritual leader, has come forward with a unique solution to make the air clean again and make Delhi green again – the plantation of peepal trees.

The Significance of Peepal Trees

Peepal trees, also known as sacred fig or Ficus religiosa, hold immense significance in Indian culture and spirituality. These trees are considered sacred and are often found near temples or in other sacred spaces. They are known for their ability to purify the air and release oxygen, making them an ideal choice for combatting air pollution.

Peepal trees have large, heart-shaped leaves that can absorb a significant amount of pollutants from the atmosphere. They are also known for their high transpiration rate, which helps in cooling the surroundings and reducing the temperature. This natural cooling effect can be particularly beneficial in urban areas like Delhi, where the concrete jungle exacerbates the heat island effect.

The Initiative by Swami Advaitananda Giri Ji

Swami Advaitananda Giri Ji, with his deep-rooted commitment to the environment, has taken it upon himself to make Delhi green again. Under his guidance, a massive plantation drive of peepal trees has been initiated in various parts of the city. The aim is to create green pockets that not only enhance the aesthetic appeal but also contribute to improving the air quality.

The initiative is not limited to just planting trees but also involves raising awareness among the residents about the importance of preserving and nurturing these green spaces. Swami Advaitananda Giri Ji believes that every individual has a role to play in creating a sustainable environment and urges the citizens of Delhi to actively participate in this noble cause.

Delhi: 10 Dec, Air quality of Delhi has become the worst among the capital cities across the world. The International Meditation Foundation has started a campaign to plant Peepal trees across Delhi to improve the air quality in the city.
Swami Advaitananda, Chairman, International Meditation Foundation, said the plantation of Peepal trees would have a magical impact on the quality of air in the city. “We have started the campaign from our own resources and have also given a proposal to the government to get it implemented at a larger scale,” he said. Swami Advaitananda, who is also the Mahamandaleshwar, Shri Panchdashnaam Joona Akhara, informed that there had been positive response from the government. “I have requested Shri Bhupendra Yadav ji, Honourable Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, to take up this issue on a priority basis,” he said.
Swami Advaitananda has also taken up the matter with several other ministers including Bhupendra Yadav’s predecessor Prakash Javadekar. In a letter forwarded to Prakash Javadekar on 2nd November 2020, Shripad Naik, then Minister of State (Independent Charge) for AYUSH and Minister of
State for Defence, wrote: “I am forwarding herewith a self-explanatory letter from Mahamandaleshwar Swami Advaitananda Giri, Shri Panchdashnaam Joona Akhara and Chairman, International Meditation Foundation, regarding making Delhi green again by plantation of Peepal
and Banyan trees in densely populated vilayati babool (kikars) in Delhi forest. I shall be grateful if you could kindly examine the matter and take appropriate action. Naik now holds the portfolio of Minister of State in the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Tourism “I have been working tirelessly to get more and more plantations of Peepal and Banyan trees done across the country. Delhi is our focus because the air quality in the national capital has become intolerable. We must work together to get rid of toxic air,” said Swami Advaitananda.
Delhi forest has primarily vilayati kikars which does not allow other trees to grow nearby it and with their deep roots it has sucked up much of groundwater, leaving the land dry. Peepal (Ficus religiosa ) and Banyan (Ficus benghalensis) trees can grow nearby it very well and they will grow faster compared to any other tree. As these new trees grow, vilayati kikars can be trimmed simultaneously and finally removed. In order to provide sufficient sunlight, the top canopy can be cleared. Here are the reasons why we must plant Peepal tree: Peepal size is taller and that multiplies the size of forest in the same amount of land Peepal doesn’t require as much water and care as compared to other trees. Peepal provides spiritual benefits.

Join the Green Movement

Swami Advaitananda Giri Ji’s initiative to make Delhi green again is a call to action for all the residents of Delhi. Every individual can contribute to this noble cause by planting trees in their homes, schools, and workplaces. Additionally, it is crucial to take care of the existing trees and ensure their well-being.

Let us all come together and make Delhi a shining example of a green city. By planting peepal trees and nurturing the green spaces, we can help Delhi get rid of toxic air and create a healthier, more sustainable environment for ourselves and future generations.


The Benefits of a Green Delhi

A green Delhi would bring about numerous benefits for the city and its residents. Here are some of the key advantages:

1. Improved Air Quality

By planting peepal trees and other greenery, the air quality in Delhi can be significantly improved. The trees act as natural air purifiers, filtering out harmful pollutants and releasing clean oxygen into the atmosphere. This can have a positive impact on the health and well-being of the residents, reducing the risk of respiratory diseases and other pollution-related ailments.

2. Reduced Heat Island Effect

The concrete structures and lack of green spaces in urban areas contribute to the heat island effect, making cities significantly hotter than the surrounding rural areas. By planting trees, particularly peepal trees with their high transpiration rate, the temperature can be lowered, creating a more pleasant and comfortable environment for everyone.

3. Biodiversity Conservation

Green spaces not only provide a habitat for birds and animals but also support a diverse range of plant species. By creating more green pockets in Delhi, we can contribute to the conservation of biodiversity and protect the delicate ecological balance.

4. Aesthetically Pleasing Environment

Imagine strolling through tree-lined streets, parks filled with lush greenery, and the soothing shade of peepal trees. A green Delhi would not only be visually appealing but also create a sense of calm and tranquility amidst the hustle and bustle of city life.


“Increase Delhi Oxygen 40 times by replacing Vilayati Kikar with Peepal Tree 

– His Holiness Swami Advaitananda Giri Ji

Aseem Khan, Environmentalist, further said that Delhi’s jungle contains nearly 90% Vilayati Kikar and replacing that by plantation of Peepal trees would have a magical impact on the quality of air in the city. By replacing of Vilayati kikar with Peepal tree would clean air and enhance oxygen by 40 times.
Explaining this further, he added, “ As per research reports Peepal tree’s carbon sequestration potentials are nearly 87% as compared to Vilayati Kikar’s carbon sequestration potentials are just around 11%. This is nearly eight times more than vilayati kikar. Peepal tree’s size, its canopy is more than 5 times of vilayati kikar. Eight times carbon sequestration potentials multiplied by 5 times canopy is 40 times increase in jungle. Carbon sequestration potentials of 87% also means Peepal can clean 87% air and produce Oxygen equally. In other words, this will result in improved air quality of the region by alleviating atmospheric pollutants.”

Swami Advaitananda further explained, here are the reasons why we must plant Peepal tree:

  • Peepal is not cut for wood or any other purpose due to religious reasons and that saves the tree for the long term. This solves the common problem seen with forests. This is the fourth largest illegal trade worldwide after arms, drugs and human trafficking as per United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
  • Peepal provides fruit which birds can eat. Peepal leaves are liked by monkeys. When there will be sufficient fruit in the jungle, monkeys will not come out in the human population or will come out lesser. This will provide a natural habitat for birds and animals to maintain biodiversity.
  • Peepal size is taller and that multiplies the size of forest in the same amount of land.
  • Peepal is easy to grow, it doesn’t require as much water as compared to other trees.
  • Peepal provides spiritual benefits.

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