A committee representing nature enthusiasts in Pune has demonstrated that ‘where there is a willingness, there is a direction’ by developing a small area of barren land which sweeps more than 30 acres of land in the city to a vivid forest. Surprisingly, this chink of land was once desolate and infertile but is residence to several native trees presently.

What is Anand Van?

This wonderful downtown forest is named ‘Anand Van’ which is placed in the NIBM area and it has been expanded over the last few years by Anand Van Mitra Mandal or AVMM. Now, the land is occupied by the forest department, which has also, admired the efforts of Anand Van Mitra Mandal’s teamwork. AVMM is a voluntary group, which is formed by the participation of local inhabitants of that place including, students, conservationists, corporates, and youngsters belonging from the nearby slums. They all were driven by a common motive of renovating the dry and barren land into lush greenery. They carried out their endeavors by scheduling weekly tree plantation hustles.

Know about the president of AVMM

The president of AVMM is Mr. Praveen Kumar Anand, a 65-year-old man who initiated these drives. Let’s know his opinion about their efforts and experiences. He said, “Till 2013, this 33 acres of forest land was infertile, barren and rocky, where garbage, construction waste used to be dumped. It used to be a place of all illegal activities. But by convincing some residents, we started planting saplings and ensured that they are taken care of.” He added that “It was a difficult task, but we convinced the people in the area about the importance of reclaiming the space and how it would pay dividends to us in the future. Gradually, the number of people in this movement started growing.”

Role of forest deportment in their efforts

It is also said, that as soon as possible the forest department got to know or heard about the actions taken by AVMM members, it broadened assistance to the group and assembled a railing and an entrance door to guarantee and curb the problems of encroachment and trespassing.

Challenges faced by them

Anand explained that the availability of water was a huge challenge for the growth of the newly planted saplings. So, they challenged their limits and did work on another level, Anand mentioned that “We use to carry water in cans and appealed to people to donate water through tankers.” According to him the conservation of the plants and trees was significant. To make the initiative a great hit, children residing in the surrounding slum colonies were compelled to be a part of the group.
Anand took care of several aspects and said that in order to persuade birds, the AVMM members have seeded various trees. Ana and also recalled and described that “We have even grown mulberries, and to our surprise, different kinds of birds are now coming to Anandvan.” There are several members of the group, amongst them Bhupesh Sharma added to Anand’s words saying that, “So far, we have planted 10,000 trees that include trees belonging to 80 to 90 indigenous varieties. Due to the scientific way of planting trees and the post-plantation care, the survival rate of trees is almost 95 percent.”
Discussing the action taken by AVMM, Deputy Conservator of Forest, Pune, Rahul Patil, said, “This group is doing a great job. The Anand Van model is a good example of how barren land can be transformed into a forest. Such models should be replicated elsewhere.”


A barren soil can also transform into a fertile one if taken properly care of. The Tribal farmers set a perfect example to millions of people out there to plant trees and practice sustainable development to take care of future generations. As they turn over 500 acres of barren land into a fertile area with insufficient resources, it wasn’t an easy task to be accomplished.