The sun was burning hot in the middle of the afternoon around 1:30 pm and the Kudlu Dodda Lake, where the seedballing activity was going to take place, was clear and still. Throughout the path lining the lakeside, we find concrete seating arrangements set up by the Wells Fargo company.
The raw ingredients for the corporate volunteering activity of seedballing – fresh mud pressed into balls, water cans and the seeds – was prepared much before the slated time of the event, 2 pm. The seeds chosen for the seedballing are native to the Karnataka state such as Ala, Arali, Gliciridia, Burega and Hunase. Twenty seven corporate volunteers from Wells Fargo and three school-going student interns joined us soon for the activity. There were some local community helpers also to aid the event in checking the quality of the finished seed balls.
All of them were asked to gather in a shaded space and they were prepped with the details of the composition of the seed balls, how to make them and where the finished seed balls will be dispersed. The goal for the event was to make 3,000 seed balls in roughly 1.5 hours.
How were the seed balls made?
The mud balls prepared beforehand was a mixture of fresh mud and organic manure (cow dung and bird poop). They are meant to be organically rich in composition so that it aids in critical seed growth when they are finally dispersed into the forests near the foothills of Nandi hills and nearby areas during the monsoon season.
The Wells Fargo volunteers divided themselves into groups containing 3 to 6 members and they enthusiastically got to work. There was a lot of laughter and chatter in the air while they made the seed balls in joint and cheerful effort.
Every group was provided with one big organic mud ball. Each individual volunteer picked small amounts of mud and placed the native seeds inside it and then rolled it into small round balls. These were placed onto biodegradable plates and they were moved by the school student volunteers to an area under the sun for drying. The shaded space where the seedballing activity was being carried out, overlooked the lake with various birds perched on the tree located in the middle of the lake. Some of the birds one could spot in the lake premise are ducks, herons and migratory birds.
The last lap
The seedballing activity picked up speed towards the end with no sign of exhaustion from the volunteers’ side.
By 3:40 pm, we had prepared around 3,130 seed balls, surpassing the set goal! Thrilled with the results, we decided to wrap it up for the day. The seed balls were then stored in the shaded space safely for dispersal in the coming months.
Before setting out, we asked few of the volunteers to express their thoughts on today’s activity. From their positive feedback and the huge number of seed balls that we managed to produce, the whole event spelled success.
Corporate Volunteering is a force to reckon with. Each of the volunteer is an educated, contributing member of the society and we you put together multiple hands, they collectively become massive change makers. With more similar initiatives, we can pave way for greener futures and ensure a more sustainable existence.