India boasts the 10th-largest forest coverage in the world, spread over 20% of its territory. Unfortunately, every year 1.3 million square kilometers of forest — at least 10 million trees per day — are either chopped down or burned down. And India is the fifth-highest carbon emitter in the world, accounting for about 5% of global emissions.

Dainik Bhaskar launched the national Ek Ped Ek Zindagi (“One Tree, One Life”) initiative to plant and nurture saplings, which aimed to motivate people to plant at least one sapling in their name and nurture it until it is fully grown. The project put emphasis on planting native and medicinal plants.

Ek Ped Ek Zindagi motivated people to plant a sapling in their name in 34 cities in 10 Indian states.
Ek Ped Ek Zindagi motivated people to plant a sapling in their name in 34 cities in 10 Indian states.

The initiative was rolled out on July 6, 2015, in 34 cities in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Bihar, Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, and Maharashtra.

In addition to driving the initiative editorially with ads and promotions, we adopted the following three-pronged approach in area police stations and schools:

  1. Sapling planting drive in police stations and schools in 34 cities across 14 states.

  2. Beautification drive to cleaned and green prominent locations in each city.

  3. Long graffiti walls covered with street art created by our readers.

Trees are felled for numerous reasons: to provide timber, paper, pulp, or fuel; to clear land for farming, livestock, or coffee; or for coconut oil plantations. Burgeoning population and sprawling urbanisation are also major causes of tree loss in India because these trends upset the oxygen and carbon-dioxide balance.

A wide range of medicinal plants and native trees are threatened due to this rapid deforestation, urbanisation, and lack of awareness about their importance. India has 15 agro-climatic zones with upwards of 18,000 species of flowering plants. Of these plants, 7,000 are estimated to have medicinal uses in folk and documented systems of medicine.

The campaign not only challenged readers to plant trees but also to beautify cities by creating art on long graffiti walls in participating cities.
The campaign not only challenged readers to plant trees but also to beautify cities by creating art on long graffiti walls in participating cities.

The Ek Ped Ek Zindagi programme helps to offset these losses. When the saplings become full-fledged trees, they act as natural “sinks,” locking away carbon dioxide in trunks and branches, as well as adding natural beauty to the planet.

Driving behavioural change is integral to our efforts towards environmental sustainability. Planting and nurturing saplings not only contributes directly to the local environment, but also has a deep cascading effect of regeneration and propagation of the entire ecological process. 

Planting a tree with one’s own name creates an emotional connection, encouraging people to nurture the plant as they would a family member.

Dainik Bhaskar readers who planted and raised saplings connected with their young trees and began to see them as members of the family.
Dainik Bhaskar readers who planted and raised saplings connected with their young trees and began to see them as members of the family.

We executed this initiative with the help of key stakeholders including government organizations, schools, NGOs, and corporations. The initiative achieved the following results:

  • Five million saplings were planted during the planting drives, conducted in 370 schools and 411 police stations.

  • Green areas about 65 kilometers in length were beautified by planting saplings across 14 cities.

  • Graffiti walls of approximately 28 kilometers in length were created in 22 cities.

  • More than a million school children participated in planting of medicinal and native plants.

  • An eco-friendly mailer printed on acid-free paper with natural ink was one of the key innovations implemented.

  • Echoing our belief, the government of Jharkhand has started welcoming delegates with plant saplings instead of bouquets.
Ek Ped Ek Zindagi challenged children, adults, and key stakeholders in targeted communities to do their part to improve the local environment.
Ek Ped Ek Zindagi challenged children, adults, and key stakeholders in targeted communities to do their part to improve the local environment.

At Dainik Bhaskar, corporate social responsibility is not merely compliance; it is a commitment to initiatives in the areas of environmental sustainability, computer education, and other community development.

Over the years, our publishing group has focused not only on the business aspect, but also on how it can be a catalyst in driving socio-economic transformation in India.