Abhayaranya or the Sanctuary of Love was created by the deaf-mute and blind children through the ‘Shram-Daan’ – Voluntary Labor program. It is an artificial forest in Anandwan and is a hugely successful experiment of ‘Rehabilitation of Mines’. Once an arid rocky wasteland, here there is now a colossal Biomass Bank spread over 60 acres of territory.
Rehabilitation of mines is a process where the pits, mines and craters left behind after extraction of minerals are covered layer by layer of excavated material to rebuild the ecosystem.
An innovative pilot project, the first of its kind in the region, it demonstrates the burial of hazardous used-refused-rejected plastic and allied waste products, which are normally scattered in the metros and urban areas.
In Anandwan, for the first time such mines are refilled with condemned plastic waste and repose layers of overburden. Thereafter trees, shrubs, grasses and flowers are planted for bees, butterflies, birds and animals to ensure the rebuilding of the entire ecosystem.
Memorial of the Unknown Tree
It is generally agreed that about one third of a country’s surface should remain reserved for forests in order to preserve climatic conditions, purity of air and water supply. In India only ten per cent of the surface of the country is covered any more with primeval forests.
Keeping this thought in mind, Vikas Amte envisages a New India that will be careful to protect existing forests. Anandwan certainly manifests a great love for nature; not only green fields are cultivated and tree planting is promoted but also the most beautiful flowers are grown here in abundance. This beautiful ‘Memorial of the Unknown Tree’ was setup in memory of some trees that had to be uprooted during the layout of the place. But the attitude to nature is not sentimental; nature is not only admired but is also made to serve. True love for nature manifests itself in improving nature and enabling it to serve us better. Science and appropriate technology are sedulously promoted, but, at the same time, care is taken not to inflict damages on nature, especially not irreparable damage.