Interview with Prasiddhi Singh, Social Entrepreneur & Founder of Prasiddhi Forest Foundation

Prasiddhi Singh

An exclusive interview with Prasiddhi Singh, Founder of Prasiddhi Forest Foundation

Prasiddhi Singh, a visionary environmentalist and the founder of the Prasiddhi Forest Foundation, is a true embodiment of dedication and passion for the preservation of our planet’s precious ecosystems. With an unwavering commitment to reforestation and sustainable conservation practices, Prasiddhi has been making significant strides in restoring and nurturing the natural world.

Her remarkable journey in environmental advocacy and her outstanding contributions to reforestation efforts have garnered admiration and acclaim worldwide.

In this interview, we have the privilege of delving into her inspiring story, gaining insights into her foundation’s work, and understanding the profound impact she is making on the future of our planet.

Can you share the story behind the founding of the Prasiddhi Forest Foundation? What inspired you to embark on this environmental journey?

Prasiddhi Singh: The Prasiddhi Forest Foundation was born out of an unwavering connection with the natural world. From a very young age, I found solace and joy in simply observing the beauty of nature—listening to the rustling of leaves, the buzzing of bees, and the rhythmic waves of the seas.

It was an unconditional bond that I had developed with the environment. However, a pivotal moment in my life occurred when I was just four years old, during the devastating Vardah cyclone in Tamil Nadu.

I vividly remember the feeling of helplessness as I witnessed the chaos unfolding around me—the entire road was flooded, trees were uprooted, and the environment seemed to be in turmoil. It was a moment of profound realization, a moment when I understood that I needed to take action. From the age of four to six, I actively participated in numerous tree plantation drives.

During this time, I absorbed valuable knowledge about the entire process—from nurturing a seed into a sapling, maintaining a nursery, and executing successful plantations. I learned about essential procedures such as fencing, weeding, and proper watering techniques.

Armed with this newfound knowledge and determination, I took a significant step at the age of six by founding the Prasiddhi Forest Foundation.

Environmental conservation is a complex and multifaceted issue. What specific goals and initiatives does your foundation focus on to address environmental challenges?

Prasiddhi Singh: At Prasiddhi Forest Foundation, we are guided by a dual mission that aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Firstly, our commitment to tree planting is unwavering. We aspire to make tree planting an ingrained cultural practice, focusing on enhancing biodiversity and combating deforestation.

Secondly, we are dedicated to promoting environmental awareness and education within our communities. Our goal is to make environmental consciousness a part of our literary heritage. Through extensive outreach, awareness campaigns, and educational initiatives, we seek to engage people of all ages, fostering a society that is well-informed and inspired to make sustainable choices

Your work includes reforestation efforts. Could you tell us about some of the key projects or campaigns the Prasiddhi Forest Foundation has undertaken to combat deforestation and promote afforestation?

Prasiddhi Singh: The Prasiddhi Forest Foundation has been actively engaged in a variety of projects and campaigns aimed at combating deforestation and promoting afforestation. Some of our key initiatives are:

Tree Plantation: We have conducted extensive tree plantation drives, focusing on indigenous tree species, to help restore and expand forest cover in areas affected by deforestation.

Mangrove Plantation: Our efforts extend to mangrove plantation, which not only acts as a carbon sink but also supports biodiversity by serving as a complete ecosystem in itself. This plays a crucial role in coastal conservation.

Biodiversity Rejuvenation Projects: We have created exclusive fruit forests with native fruit saplings, aimed at supporting the diverse wildlife in the local ecosystems. These projects promote the coexistence of humans and nature.

Supporting Farmers: Our foundation has been dedicated to supporting the livelihoods of over 5,000 villagers and farmers by involving them in various sustainable agriculture and agroforestry practices.

Nursery Creation: We have established three nurseries, including a school nursery, a community nursery, and a farmer nursery, collectively housing around 30,000 saplings. These nurseries play a pivotal role in our reforestation efforts.

Beach Cleanup: Environmental conservation extends to coastal areas as well. We actively engage in cleaning coastal creeks and conducting beach cleanup campaigns to protect our marine environments.

Environmental Awareness: We believe that education is a vital component of conservation. To this end, we have conducted over 600 workshops, reaching out to more than 60,000 individuals, including villagers, farmers, various groups, companies, students, youth, and volunteers. These workshops aim to raise awareness about environmental issues and the importance of conservation.

Green Brigade Program: We have approached more than 200 schools, where we have given one fruit sapling to each student and provided climate contests and eco-workshops. This program is designed to nurture the environmental consciousness of the younger generation and empower them to become stewards of the environment.

Biodiversity conservation is often a critical aspect of reforestation. How does your foundation ensure the restoration of diverse ecosystems in the areas you work in?

Prasiddhi Singh: Biodiversity conservation is indeed a vital component of our reforestation efforts. Here’s how the Prasiddhi Forest Foundation ensures the restoration of diverse ecosystems in the areas we work in:

1. Mangrove Plantation: Our foundation actively engages in mangrove plantation, which plays a crucial role in preserving coastal biodiversity. Mangrove ecosystems are rich in diverse plant and animal species, and by planting mangroves, we contribute to the protection and restoration of these vital habitats.

2. Prasiddhi Fruit Forests: We have established 28 Prasiddhi Fruit Forests, each consisting of native fruit saplings. These forests not only provide a sustainable source of nutrition for local wildlife but also support a variety of species, including birds, insects, and mammals. By creating these fruit forests, we aim to restore and enhance biodiversity in the areas we operate.

3. Advocating About Biodiversity: Education and advocacy are central to our mission. We actively raise awareness about the importance of biodiversity and its role in maintaining healthy ecosystems. Through workshops, outreach programs, and community engagement, we encourage local communities and stakeholders to appreciate and protect the diverse species that inhabit the areas we are working to restore.

Community engagement is essential for the success of many environmental projects. How do you involve local communities in your conservation efforts, and what benefits have you seen from such engagement?

Prasiddhi Singh: Our approach encompasses several specific goals and initiatives. Firstly, we engage communities directly by encouraging the collection of fruit seeds door-to-door, fostering a sense of responsibility and accountability within society.

Additionally, we collaborate closely with local authorities to ensure our efforts align with existing regulations, maximizing their impact. Education and awareness are key components of our work. We conduct outreach programs in schools, colleges, and communities to instill a deep understanding of environmental conservation.

We also distribute native fruit saplings to students, promoting the creation of micro fruit forests, and actively advocate for the planting of banyan trees, emblematic of our commitment to sustainable practices. Collaboration and awareness form the foundation of our strategy, driving our mission to create a more sustainable and harmonious world.

Climate change is a pressing global concern. How does the Prasiddhi Forest Foundation contribute to mitigating climate change through its activities?

Prasiddhi Singh: Our initiatives include planting native fruit saplings and iconic banyan trees to sequester carbon and enhance oxygen production. Along coastal areas, we focus on mangrove restoration to mitigate the impacts of rising sea levels and support vulnerable communities.

Engaging with schools and colleges is a key part of our strategy, as we believe that educating the next generation about climate change is crucial. Additionally, we collaborate with farmers to promote sustainable agriculture, conduct beach clean-ups to reduce plastic pollution, and host awareness sessions and workshops through our sister company, The Green Pillar.

Through these efforts, we actively contribute to mitigating climate change and fostering a sense of responsibility and collective action within communities.

As a social entrepreneur, what role do you see businesses and corporations playing in environmental conservation, and how can they be more responsible stewards of the environment?

I strongly believe that Corporations have a significant role to play in promoting sustainability and addressing environmental challenges. The first step towards this is shifting towards renewable energy sources, reducing carbon emissions and contributing to the country’s clean energy goals.

Additionally, adopting a circular economy model can significantly impact the environment by reducing waste and promoting recycling.

Corporations can also prioritize sustainable practices among their employees and create sustainable service offerings that align with the four categories of services. Business services can promote sustainable options and offers, while social services can focus on community and sustainability.

Personal services can promote sustainable living, and E-services can offer sustainable options to customers. Collaborating with environmental NGOs and organizations can also be a crucial step towards creating a sustainable future.

What are some of the most memorable achievements or milestones that the Prasiddhi Forest Foundation has reached in its journey so far?

Prasiddhi Singh: The Prasiddhi Forest Foundation has embarked on an extraordinary journey, marked by numerous memorable achievements and milestones. Whatever we have been able to achieve till now, it is a result of sustained and collective conscious efforts made by numerous individuals and a strong support from all our supporters and volunteers. Some of the significant recognitions and honors we’ve received are:

  • Prime Minister National Child Award (Highest Civilian Honour under 18)
  • Brand Ambassador Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao-Appointed by Tamil Nadu Government
  • Child Ambassador for Green Tamil Nadu Mission
  • The Diana Award – U.K (Highest & Prestigious global accolade for social Action & Humanitarian efforts).
  • Zee TV Born to Shine Award.
  • The Global Child Prodigy Award, Dubai.
  • TV18 Byju’s Young Genius Award
  • Finalist “Indian of The Year” CNN News18.
  • Eco Hero Awards, California USA.
  • Earth Day Network Rising star (USA).
  • Global Sustainability Award by GCPIT.
  • Young Changemaker by Cartoon Network- Warner’s Brothers.

Many individuals are inspired to make a difference in environmental conservation. What advice do you have for those who aspire to follow a similar path in the field of social entrepreneurship and environmental activism?

Prasiddhi Singh: For those aspiring to make a difference in environmental conservation through social entrepreneurship and activism, I offer the following advice. Firstly, believe in the power of every action you take. Whether it’s making eco-conscious choices in your daily life or joining local environmental initiatives, every effort counts towards the greater cause.

Secondly, prioritize fostering environmental awareness. Educate yourself about current environmental challenges and share this knowledge with others. The more people are informed, the more likely they are to join the movement.

Additionally, collaborate with like-minded individuals and organizations, as collective efforts can magnify your impact. Start small initiatives aligned with your goals, and if you’re considering social entrepreneurship, seek out organizations that resonate with your vision and values.

Be prepared for challenges and setbacks, but maintain your resilience and passion for the cause. Lastly, lead by example by adopting sustainable practices in your own life to inspire others to do the same.

Together, through perseverance and collective action, we can create a more sustainable and harmonious world for future generations.

In a world where the health of our environment is increasingly threatened, individuals like Prasiddhi Singh stand as beacons of hope and inspiration. Her passion, dedication, and relentless efforts through the Prasiddhi Forest Foundation have not only contributed to the revitalization of forests but also inspired countless others to join the crucial cause of environmental conservation.

As we conclude this interview, Prasiddhi’s message resounds loud and clear: that the restoration of our planet’s forests is not just a duty but a collective responsibility. Through her work, she reminds us all that the journey toward a greener and healthier Earth begins with a single seed, nurtured with love and commitment, and that each one of us has the power to be a steward of change for the generations to come.

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