Hyderabad: In these days and times of global communication, every bit of news, event, activity, or a challenge can go viral in no time, grabbing millions of eyeballs. There is no dearth of challenges that are sprouting across the world today; however, only a limited number can transform into reality and serve mankind.

While a few challenges are fun, a few do not make sense and fizzle out in no time. But wait, not all challenges are the same! If there is one such initiative that is making a whole lot of difference to the entire world since it was launched and is growing strength-to-strength with every passing day, it is the Green India Challenge. Proposed and launched by Member of Parliament Joginapally Santosh Kumar on July 17, 2018 with an apt slogan Hara Hain Tho Bara Hain (If it is green, it is complete), the Green India Challenge has now metamorphosized into a greater revolution, not only for the innumerable flora and fauna, but also encompassing the entire life on this beautiful earth for today, tomorrow and many generations to come.

Ask J. Santosh Kumar what inspired him to propose this noble, well-thought gesture and he immediately credits it to Telanganaku Haritha Haram launched by Telangana Chief Minister KCR garu five years back, with an idea to increase the forest cover in the state from 24% to 33%. “Telanganaku Haritha Haram is a testimony of KCR garu’s vision for the overall development state and its citizens. The logic behind is simple. The thick, dense forest cover ensures timely arrival of seasons, rains, which in turn increases the agricultural productivity, reduces environmental pollution, instils healthy living and the list of benefits will go on, right? And I too wanted to do my bit for the environment, thus the Green India Challenge was born,” said Santosh Kumar.

The Green India Challenge (GIC), which initially started in Telangana state capital Hyderabad, spread its wings in no time, attracting common man and celebrities alike, encouraging one and all in planting saplings, watering trees, safeguarding the flora and in nurturing Mother Nature.

The GIC did not confine only to urban and rural areas. Santosh Kumar garu took another leap in this challenge by adopting 2,042 acres of Keesara Reserve Forest as a part of “Gift A Smile Challenge” on the occasion of Minister for Municipal Administration & Urban Development, Industries & Commerce, and Information Technology and TRS Working President K.T. Rama Rao garu’s birthday. It was perhaps the first time an entire forest was adopted by an individual with an aim to care for it.

Subsequently, the idea of adopting and pledging care for reserve forests motivated others too! Bahubali star Prabhas came forward to protect 1650 acres of Kazipally Reserve Forest and Hetero Pharma agreed to shield the greenery and life in 2,543 acres of Mumbapur-Nallavelli Reserve Forest.

Santosh Kumar told The Sunday Guaridan, “We need to plant more saplings to mitigate the effect of heat wave. Everyone needs to plant at least three saplings. We created the Guinness world record by planting 2 crore saplings on the birthday of Telangana CM KCR. The green cover in Telangana increased to 34% from 24% due to aggressive plantation. Our Green India Challange has come to a level in which we adopt reserve forests also. Bahubali Prabhas adopted 1650 acre kazipalli reserve forest and Hetero Pharma adopted 2543 acre reserve forest.”