On Saturday, November 11th, we planted 500 palmyra seeds in a marshland in the Jaffna Peninsula. The palmyra tree is a massive fan palm tree that can grow up to 100 feet high and live up to 100 years. It is found primarily in South India and Northern Sri Lanka.

The palmyra tree is the official tree of Northern Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu, India. In Tamil culture, it is called karpaha, “celestial tree,” and is highly respected because all of  its parts can be utilized.

Before the war, the northern part of Sri Lanka was covered with palmyra groves. The war took a toll; we lost massive numbers of  these trees. Our initiative is to plant as many trees as possible and bring back their former glory. Around 15 volunteers participated in this half-day planting project.

We extend heartfelt gratitude to my mother for gracefully leading the tree planting ceremony. Despite being 90 years old, she dedicated her time to stay alongside the students throughout the tree-planting process inspiring and supporting them, and Mr. Yogesh for coordinating this project.  Also, our thanks go to the teachers and students of Siruppiddi Tamil School Environmental Club and the Subramuniya Kottam youth for volunteering for this seed planting.

In Peace,

Rishi Thondunathan

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Janakan Srikhanta

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