Pune: The Mind Behind Brown Leaf, Reacho In Conversation With  Aditi Deodhar

The forum has saved 5,000 gunny bags of dry leaves from getting burnt from November 2016 to April 2017

Brown leaf, Aditi Deodhar, Ecology, Environmental forums

What should one do, if he/she has a heap of fallen leaves in the backyard? Rake them off and collect them together to burn? Surely not, especially if you are living in Pune!

Because there exists a forum called ‘Brown Leaf’ that allows you to donate all the dry, brown leaves you’ve collected in your home or your locality. The website also makes you access to connect to the people who are willing to take these leaves from you. Interesting as it sounds; executing this plan for real was not easy as it looks, to talk more about this, Reacho got in conversation with Aditi Deodhar, the mega mind behind this novel concept.

Can you explain us the necessity of bringing up this forum?

We live in an environment which is governed by a simple rule of give and take; our nature doesn’t allow us to waste anything. Same is the case with leaves; the fallen leaves which we tend to burn consist of 50-60% of nutrients and act as a protective layer to the soil during harsh summers. In monsoon these leaves then decompose and provide all the essential nutrients to the soil which enhances the quality of soil. In urban areas the availability of soil is less due to the construction of buildings and pavements, so the usual tendency of urbanites is to burn off the leaves which only contribute in increase of hazardous gases like carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. So, bringing up this project was the need of the hour.

When and what triggered you to start such a unique project?

Living in a city we usually don’t get into things that need to get processed in a natural way. Back in  2016, I discovered that a heap of dried leaves is lying in my society and we all had no way to dispose it off. Getting in account the hazardous consequences that trail after the burning process, I somehow just couldn’t let the leaves go to the ashes and I then contacted many people who could take a proper biological-care of these leaves. I then happened to get in touch with a lady called Sujata Naphade who has beautifully cultivated a home garden for herself from the decomposed waste of leaves. It came to my mind then of creating a platform where a donor and a taker can co-ordinate to each other effortlessly and get the transaction of leaves done, efficiently.

How do you manage to get this give-and-take process done efficiently from both the ends?

Brown leaf forum has its own website, facebook page and a whatsapp group where people virtually congregate and co-ordinate with each other. Once the donor is ready with his gunny bag full of dry leaves, he announces on the group the quantity of leaves he have and the area where he stays. For the taker, if that area lies in the proximity and is convenient for him, her they directly co-ordinates with the donor; this is how the entire process takes place. So, Brown Leaf is basically a connection point that reduces the gap between a donor and a taker.

For now Brown Leaf has approached to people who live in the city of Pune, do you wish to spread this forum to other cities as well?

The process of falling leaves and then turning them into ashes is a problem that persist everywhere. We have got many calls from across the cities and we still do, so yes we are thinking to extend our project beyond the city of Pune and we are right now in the brain-storming phase. We do have a group for Bangalore’s crowd for now but we have to think together on many aspects that needs a proper and full implementation.

Reacho wishes Aditi to keep up the good work and soar high in all aspects of her life.

This article is the part of ‘Wisdom Wednesdays’ where we give insights about the lives of Pune's interesting personalities.

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Shruti Mendulkar (WRITER)

I am a girl full of beans. What drives me crazy is food, not just savoring it but also preparing it. I am a writer, food blogger, designer and potter header…oops, went too much with the flow!