Seed Ball technique – 1 lakh in 3 hrs. by Bangaloreans

Seed Ball technique – 1 lakh in 3 hrs. by Bangaloreans

Seed  ball technique   –  1 lakh seed balls were prepared by 600 Bangaloreans to Green Western Ghats.  Most environmentalists have termed this innovation as seeds of success due to its rapid growth rate.

Seed Ball is a unique and interesting method  in today’s age where the greenery is becoming a silent victim of modernization.  Seed balls work as a great idea for a sustainable environment in our concrete jungles.

Seed balls are an ancient technique for propagating plants from seeds without opening up soil with cultivation tools such as a plow.

Victim of urbanization :

Trees are often the first victim’s of Bengaluru’s march towards increased urbanization.  To encourage to grow trees and to reduce their rate of depletion, Seed Balls creations helps growing trees in the city.  

SayTrees – Organizer of Seed ball :

SayTrees is a professionally run group of ordinary people extraordinarily determined to protect the environment not just by themselves, but also by sensitizing others towards the importance of environment conservation and goading them on to participate in tree-plantation campaigns.  

The group consists of passionate nature lovers, who juggle corporate jobs during the week with their love for trees over the weekends. Though it started off as a weekend pursuit in 2007 now it does more than 50 tree plantation drives in 4 months of monsoon. 

Last year, SayTrees had made thousands of seed balls and were sown in Chintamani and Bagepalli.

Volunteers at Seed Ball project:

600 Bengalureans came together in Krishnarajapuram on weekend and made more than 100,000 seed balls. Within three hours they prepared around one lakh seed balls, which will go on to increase the green cover in Western Ghats.

Making of Seed ball by all age group

All age groups came together for the seed ball making. 

Objective of the project:

The members of the organisation SayTrees will take the seed balls to the forests of Kodagu in Karnataka and plant them next week with the help of the forest department. The group wants to re-green the area as thousands of trees were lost during the floods last year.

The aim of the campaign is to build urban forestry and provide greenery in barren lands by using the seed ball technique. 

How to make a seed ball?

herder3 for commons.wikimedia.org

Take some clay, pure some water it, roll it into a little ball, make a little hole in it, pop the seed into it and roll it up again.  Leave it to dry for 24 hours.  The seed ball is ready.

Contents of Seed Ball :

For the seed balls, a mixture of soil and manure is used and each seed ball contains one or more seeds inside. The group which cut across all age groups, made many varieties of seed balls.

The seed balls project had made eight varieties of seed balls including banyan, peepal and tamarind.

Why seed ball?

Among different initiatives to improve green cover, making and distributing seed balls in a quick and cost effective method to reclaim the lost green cover of environment.  It is an emerging afforestation technique.

With knowledge, skill, and patience, seed balls can be as effective a way of establishing plants as plow-seeding or drilling, and they can be made by anyone anywhere in the world that has access to clay, soil, and seed — for no money.

How it works?

The composition of seed balls makes it self-sustainable and favorable for germination in most environments.  Making seed balls are fund and easy.

The concept seed balls was started by Masanobu Fukuoka, a Japanese man famous for popularizing Natural farming, the concept has been adopted worldwide.

Seed balls can also be used to “over seed” existing ecosystems, without damaging the soil structure — or to seed productive plants into forested areas and steep hillsides where tillage is not possible. Seed balls can also be used in combination with animals such as pigs who will do the work of shuffling the mulch around providing seed balls extra cover.

Development of technique :

The technique for creating seed balls was rediscovered by Japanese natural farming pioneer Masanobu Fukuoka. The technique was also used, in ancient Egypt to repair farms after the annual spring flooding of the Nile.

In modern times, during the period of the Second World War, the Japanese government plant scientist working in a government lab, Fukuoka, who lived on the mountainous island of Shikoku, wanted to find a technique that would increase food production without taking away from the land already allocated for traditional rice production,  which thrived in the volcanic rich soils of Japan.

Advantages of using seed ball :

There are some advantages of using seed ball instead of using seeds directly:

  • Because there are nutrients in the seed  ball  in the form of compost or potting mix or cow dung,  it gives a leg up to germinating seeds – gives them nutrition in the early days when the young plant needs a little help to survive in harsh conditions.
  • The balls prevents animals or birds from eating up the seeds.
  • It takes less time to cover a large area – since one can simply throw the seed ball – so one could, for example, drive around in a car with thousands of seed bombs and a slingshot, and disperse the seed bombs all around while cruising in vehicle. In fact, there have been scenarios where seed bombs have been used for aerial reforestation by dispersing hundreds of thousands of seed bombs using a low flying aero-plane !

Seed Balls protect seeds from :

Winds – which blow them away

Birds and Rodents – which eat them

Hot Sun –  which bakes their vitality and

Excessive rain – Which carries them off.

Results of using Seed Ball :

With the rainfall, the clay coating melts and the seeds germinate where the ball has landed.  The seed balls will stay put until the seedlings have a chance to put down roots.  The seed balls will absorb moisture from the ground, the dew and the rain and will sprout when conditions are right. 

Many seeds will grow from a single seed ball and the plant most suited to the micro conditions of that site will prevail. perties

Raghu Karnad – Windham Campbell prize

Raghu Karnad – Windham Campbell prize

Raghu Karnad –  is a  journalist and writer. He is son of Girish Karnad, a famous theatre personality.   He is the author of Farthest Field: An Indian Story of the Second World War  which was shortlisted for the Hessel-Tiltman Prize for 2016, and was awarded the Sahitya Akademi.

Journalist and writer Raghu Karnad became the second Indian to win the Windham-Campbell Prize; after Jerry Pinto who won the prize in 2016 for his novel ‘Em And the Big Hoom’.

Awards won by Raghu Karnad :

He got Yuva Puraskar for a writer in English the year 2016.  His articles and essays have won international awards including the Lorenzo Natali Journalism Prize  in 2008.

The Press Institute of India National Award for Reporting on the Victims of Armed Conflict in 2008, and a prize from the inaugural Financial Times Bodley Head Essay Competition in 2012. He won the 2019 Windham-Campbell Literature Prize in Non-Fiction for his debut work Farthest Field, An Indian Story of the Second World War.

Positions held :

Karnad was previously the editor of Time Out, Delhi. He has s also contributed articles to The New Yorker, The Atlantic, & The Guardian. While he was a student at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania,  he spent a semester at the American University of Cairo where he managed to get a meeting with Yassar Arafat.

Windham Campbell Literature prizes :

The Donald Windham Sandy M. Campbell Literature Prizes is an American literary award which offers prizes in four categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry and drama. The award was established at Yale University in 2011 with the first prizes presented in 2013. 

Administered by the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library,  the award recognizes English language writers from anywhere in the world.

The mission of the award is to call attention to literary achievement and provide writers the opportunity to focus on their work independent of financial concerns. Up to nine prizes are awarded annually. Winners receive a citation and an unrestricted remuneration.

The individual prizes are among the richest literary prize amounts in the world,  if not the richest in certain categories. The award’s endowment is from the estate of writer Donald Windham. Sandy Campbell was his companion of 45 years.

Raghu Karnad – Windham Campbell Prize :

Karnad won the prestigious Literary award – Windham Campbell award for his debut book ‘The Farthest Field: An Indian Story of the Second World War’ in the non-fiction category.

Raghu Karnad is one of the eight winners who have been chosen across four categories this year. Each of the eight winners won $165,000 as prize money to support their writing. In terms of the award money, Windham-Campbell Prize is one of the richest literary awards worldwide.

Winners of Windham Campbell Prize :

Two Literary award winners were announced this year in each of the 4 categories for the prize, namely- fiction, non-fiction, drama and poetry.

This year’s Windham-Campbell Prize recipients in fiction are Danielle McLaughlin from Ireland and David Chariandy from (Canada. In non-fiction category the winners include Raghu Karnad from India and Rebecca Solnit from United States.

In poetry Ishion Hutchinson from Jamaica and Kwame Dawes from Ghana/Jamaica/United States are the winners and in drama the winners include, Young Jean Lee from United States and Patricia Cornelius from Australia.

Farthest Field: An Indian Story of the Second World War by Raghu Karnad :

The book narrates India’s often overlooked experience in the war.  Karnad delves into his family’s past, learning that three ancestors—ones he knew only from faded photographs—died during WWII.

Their nation’s involvement in that war is largely forgotten and unrecorded. More than a personal history, Karnad’s account encompasses theaters on three continents as he uncovers diaries, logbooks, requisition orders, and correspondence from the “largest volunteer force the world had ever known.” 

The tense, subservient relationship with colonial Britain defined the daily rhythms of army life. Karnad’s prose, hauntingly poetic, evokes an India at the crossroads, sending battalions of its young men to die in defense of the British Empire even as Gandhi and Nehru laid the foundation for its independence.

Karnad shows that in fighting for Britain’s freedoms—freedoms Britain steadfastly refused to extend to Indians themselves—these forgotten soldiers wrote the final chapter of Britain’s grand and cynical colonial project.

Inspiration to write the book – Raghu Karnad:

Discovering that his grandfather and two grand uncles  Bobby, Ganny and Manek  had served in World War II Karnad wanted to write about them. 

Financial need and a yearning for adventure directed the brothers to officers’ training for Britain’s Indian Army, a force that ultimately numbered 2,500,000, the largest volunteer army in history.

One joined the Indian Air Force, where his first assignment was bombing Afghanistan from bases in what is now Pakistan, an activity still in progress 75 years later. He never left India and died in a crash before the end of the war.

A brother, who was a doctor, also died on the Afghan frontier, probably of pneumonia. The third, a lieutenant in the sappers (combat engineers supporting the infantry), fumed at his inactivity for years until he was caught up in the vicious and immense campaign to recapture Burma, where he was killed in late 1944. 

Re-creating history by Raghu Karnad :

The author re-creates their lives and thoughts through unit records, memoirs, and interviews with elderly survivors.

Karnad’s book speaks of every significant event of the war including Pearl Harbour and the Balkan War. But through a journey across several nations, it drives home to capture the narrative of a chapter completely erased from our country’s history: India’s participation in World War II.

Awarding the prize :

The awards will be conferred in September during an annual international literary festival at Yale celebrating the honored writers and introducing them to new audiences.