Back to Nature

By Krishna Kumar Suresh

A Take on Thuvakkam – Urban forestry initiative

“I’m proud to have brought the greenery back” – Kubher (Promoter & Business Head / Prabha Automotive Engineers Pvt. Ltd)

Lush and green is not what most people imagine when thinking of an industrial plant. But despite living a fast-paced city life, Kubher knew the reality all too well and the necessity of Green Environment. He took it onto himself to bring back nature once lost in his manufacturing plant.

“I had seen how beautiful and diverse nature was. During every season, there were vegetables and flowers grown all over the land area. But the pictures I see now, in reality, are so strange and frightening; I was feeling devastated that we are losing this beautiful natural place.” says Kubher.

When he realized that these spaces needed some green, he started thinking about how we can use modern technology to build back what once was lost. After reading an article in The Hindu, Kubher met Thuvakkam, a non-governmental volunteer organization headed in Chennai, who create urban forest using the Miyawaki concept. 

Miyawaki method of plantation involved creating mini forests in small areas using only the native trees of the soil that too in a shorter span of time. The technology originated in Japan and was tweaked by Thuvakkam to suit Indian terrain and specially modified to location specific processes.

Thuvakkam joined hands with Kubher and created such an urban forest inside his Industrial plant with 170 saplings at 1500 sq. ft on December 16, 2018. It was their first step together towards a greener environment.

Many people who lived in modern urbanization, far away from such forests and who were not sure how to help better the environment with little free time on hand were all gathered.

Thuvakkam and these volunteers came to the industry and planted the forest. They not only planted but came back regularly for its maintenance until the whole forest grew very well. A year passed and to celebrate the 1st birthday of the Miyawaki urban forest in a very unique way on 16th December 2019 Thuvakkam team and Kubher gathered in front of the forest. 

Crowns made out of coconut leaves were given out instead of birthday hats, a watermelon fruit was cut instead of a cake, a leaf bookmark was given as a return gift to all the guests who attended the party.

Everyone moved around and into the lush, once small saplings, forest. With trees and shrubs above their heads and bird’s nest in the branches, the whole team enjoyed the serene beauty of mother nature, the sound, and peace. They came out with happiness beaming on their faces. The growing enthusiasm for greenery, forests, and trees among the people now is a good thing. After seeing the growth of the 1st forest at the plant backyard, Kubher couldn’t stop. He initiated the process for a second Urban forest at 3000 sq. ft with 450 saplings on 8th February 2020 right next to the first forest.

Both Thuvakkam and Kubher teams together are not just planting trees but are creating a ripple in the betterment of society. What was once barren land, at the end of the industrial the plant has now become an eco-spot with sounds of birds, lush green, and produces clean fresh air. It has created a better habitat and increased biodiversity in the region.

We too need to diversify from our usual takes and create many such urban forests because they help us withstand floods and drought and give us medicine to fight diseases and bring us rain. Today, more than 12+ forest has been developed with over 5000 trees in different regions of South India through ‘Urban Forestry’ by Thuvakkam.

The Miyawaki Urban Forestry Project is part of the Thuvakkam Environment Program, which aims to create a dense forest and produce multiple benefits for biodiversity, climate change, and land degradation.For more information on the Miyawaki and Thuvakkam’s Environment’s work in Urban-Forestry visit 

About Author, 

Krishna Kumar Suresh is the founder of Thuvakkam NGO. From childhood, he had always had a passion for changing peoples’ lives for them better. During his Bachelor’s education, at the age of 19, along with his friends he started ‘Thuvakkam’, a Non-Governmental Organization.

He completed his Master’s in Social Work (Community Development) at MSSW and is currently leading Thuvakkam as the CEO. He has received ‘United Nations – V Award 2019’ for his contributions in his field at a young age of 25.