Rakthabeejaasura - An inspiration for the activism behind Billion Trees and Beyond!
|Shri K Govinda Bhat, a senior Yakshagana artist as Rakthabeejaasura!|
Let me explain. Rakthabeeja is gifted with a boon that whenever a drop of his blood falls on the ground, a clone Rakthabeeja is formed with equal presence and ferocity. Again, when the blood of this clone falls to the ground again, same story. Hence any attempt to hurt this person will complicate the matter so much that things will go out of hand easily.
For more details on this character: Rakthabeeja - Wikipedia
It is altogether a different story as to how Devi got rid of his menace and not relevant at all to this context. Here the trees are vanishing at a speed of reverse-Rakthabeeja effect, so we need to multiply the presence of trees with the effect of Rakthabeeja.
Another way of putting this, if we plant one tree, it should lead to plantation of 100 more trees and so forth. Therefore, it is not just about planting trees, but also about increasing the speed of proliferation of trees. This requires the following focus:
1. Make the plantation of tree easier.
2. Make the availability of tree easier.
3. Make the multiplication of the tree 100 times more in lesser time also easier.
4. Grow the activism also at the speed of Rakthabeeja multiplication.
5. Empower each new incoming activist towards sponsoring thousands of Rakthabeeja multiplication mechanism wrt planting trees and proliferating them all over.
Also, there is a level of apathy and de-focus (both urban and rural) as to the looming danger to our eco-system due to the demise of trees. The speed of this demise is growing at the speed of Rakthabeeja multiplication effect. Therefore, until we reach a level of proliferation at the rate to compensate for this demise and then to ensure faster catch up on lost green spaces, we can not afford to forget the value of Rakthabeeja and honoring his gift by implementing such a gift within our activism.
Therefore, it is not just enough that each one of us take a commitment to plant new trees and save the existing ones, we also make an effort to educate the masses towards loving the trees and committing towards their dedication and effort for conservation and proliferation in parallel.
Therefore, the Billion Trees and Beyond type of movement needs to embrace the franchise model, and employ an autonomous growth engine which assimilates the masses like the Borgs in the Startrek. "Resistance is futile" is the mantra of the Borgs, the charm of our activism needs to reach such a level of benchmark. (May be Borgs too deserve a blog like this in this space! 🌝
The following aspects of our current activism are inspired by the Rakthabeeja:
1. Leveraging Mexican Sunflower for maximizing green cover. Mexican Sunflower is drought resistant, needs minimum care, multiplies easily through re-plantation of cuttings, is charming enough to entice folks to have one around and then many more, the momentum too can be easily built for the activism due to wider adaptation, leverage, sense of success and growth of empowering faith in the return on investments of individuals, teams and communities. For more detail as to the case of Mexican Sunflower in this context, please refer to this blog below:
2. We need to reach out to sign up the individuals, teams and communities too at the speed of Rakthabeeja multiplication. We need to empower the masses to bring personal leadership through their own dedicated activism. Best way to do it is to subject them to a voluntary process of Pledge of planting trees for the rest of life time ahead, and have them engaged not only in regular plantation effort but also in expanding the activism to hundreds and thousands more within their network of relations and influence. This effort was initiated in Nov 2018, and through 4 months of limited engagement and effort, we have generated a pledge for planting more than 11.5 million trees, that too coming from a finite set of individuals and teams less than 500. So, there is a proof of concept as to the relevance of pledges for the individuals to honor and embrace. There is a desperate need to expand the pledging process at high speed towards global coverage.
3. Bring an effect of franchising for this pledge process. Right now, the activism is driven by an idiotic individual like me with limited time and energy and resources, yet such an impact is created in short time. Imagine the effect if a much capable team of individuals embrace this and drive globally, we will see wonders beyond our imagination. For example, if we take this pledge process to every school and college out there in this world, we will have the entire future generation embracing this cause and create the positive Rakthabeejaasura through trillions of new trees in every nooks and corners of the world, otherwise desolate and depressing.
4. When you look at an urban space like Bengaluru from the Google map, it is depressing as to the vanishing green. One need not stay with despair here, instead give an option to transform the concrete jungle into an urban evergreen jungle. Usage of 50 liter drum on a terrace is good enough to anchor a tree on the terrace which will grow towards 20 feet high. This concept is already proven at Ashrama Gardens, an urban evergreen jungle. For more info on Ashrama Gardens, you may check the following links.
Ashrama Gardens - YouTube Channel (Check out the playlist as to the tricks to form an urban evergreen jungle here)
Ashrama Gardens Facebook page (The photos and videos promise the higher level of aesthetics, living, fulfillment and harmony even in the urban scapes.)
Facebook photo album of the evolution of Ashrama Gardens as an urban evergreen jungle first and then as an urban evergreen jungle factory over 8 years of tinkering and faith
5. A humble abode like mine can become an effective urban evergreen jungle. But it should not stop there, it should create jungles elsewhere, meaning it needs to become a factory of producing jungles, meaning it needs to churn out trees at a faster pace. That has been attempted with Mexican Sunflower as the first step. We now produce 800-1000 Mexican Sunflower cuttings per year and give them away in the relevant communities for plantation and further proliferation. Even with the assumption that only half of them will survive to become an effective urban tree (20 feet high tree with 5 feet effective diameter spread is good enough a tree for the seriously limiting urban constraints), one humble abode can influence 400-500 trees per year. Imagine the impact if thousands of households in a city embrace such a commitment, the Rakthabeeja can help here to inspire. We now are working on more options for the Rakthabeeja effect including drumstick tree that can grow in bins, the ornamental trees grown in the rural farm setting to form effective live fence etc. etc.)
|Each Mexican Sunflower tree is an engine of the jungle creation factory. In order to speed up proliferation, we now sacrifice the beauty of flower blooms and cut the tree more often to give away cuttings towards becoming anther tree elsewhere faster. Also, this photo depicts the co-existence of a dwarf tree under electric wire and getting trimmed regularly with no disturbance to the chaotic electric wires infrastructure already out there. (One can ask for sheathed electric wires from the department to avoid any risk of grounding or electricity leak from live wires!)|
|Leverage of Thunbergia creepers for enhancing the jungle effect at Ashrama Gardens!|
Therefore, we have now sacrificed some level of aesthetics in the Ashrama Gardens to maximize the jungle factory effect. But, the good news is that the Ashrama Gardens is not just an urban evergreen jungle, it is also an urban evergreen jungle factory. I pray that thousands of such factories will now emerge with the help of dedicated tree enthusiasts, especially from the urban gardening enthusiasts.
6. I know that I am a certifiable idiot with serious limitations, yet an inspiration from a demon called Rakthabeeja has got this much out of me. But, it needs help now to multiply this effect at the speed of Rakthabeeja to a global scale. Billion Trees and Beyond was a social startup attempt to demonstate a proof of concept to this effect. That has been achieved to this extent within the limits of this idiot. It is high time that this concept, model and forum now attracts a superior level of leadership which helps global proliferation at the speed of Rakthabeeja's domination under pressing time by leveraging every drop of the blood to the ground. We need an effective leadership that leverages every drop of sweat of every individual towards such an effect towards faster proliferation. I have no illusion that I am such a leader nor willing to be such a leader. Agree, this concept, experiment and the startup is my strength, but it stops there. So, for the Rakthabeeja effect to continue, I need help, I need to handover to a better leadership to scale this. I was aware of this reality from day one, but I dint know that such a readiness will come that fast needing handover for scaling up. Hence my prayers here to the universe to send help and snatch all these from me to release me to conceptualize and experiment another dozen more Rakthabeeja mechanisms. So, this unusual prayer, again is inspired by Raktha beeja, it is not about giving up, rather handing over to do more by leveraging my true strengths for more Rakthabeeja effects calling out to be deployed, in any social context, not just trees and green while the effective new leader does justice to proliferation of the movement at the speed of Rakthabeeja multiplication.
Let us honor the spirit of Rakthabeeja and implement such a magic and speed in all endeavors towards bringing balance, peace, harmony, wealth (samruddhi) and optimum heaven on earth for all beings, not just the humans.
Nataraja Upadhya (An idiot inspired by Rakthabeejaasura!)