MP Santosh adds Green Hour to GIC

MP Santosh

Rama Krishna Sangem


TRS Rajya Sabha MP J Santosh Kumar who celebrates his birthday on December 7, Wednesday, will be further expanding his Green India Challenge (GIC) by taking it to school and college students and youth in Telangana. Efforts will be made to enroll students from primary schools to colleges and universities in this mission, through an initiative called Green Hour.

We want to involve as many youth as possible in the green cause, which is closer to the heart of our beloved Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) garu,” said Santosh. In fact, KCR’s brainchild “Telangana Ku Harita Haram” (Green garland to Telangana) is the inspiration to Santosh launching Green India Challenge 5 years back.

In an exclusive interview to Excel India on his birthday, Santosh shared his views on the successes and challenges he faced at GIC in the last five years and plans ahead. The green cause is not just closer to the minds and hearts of the youth, but also gaining momentum across the globe, in view of the Climate Change negotiations. Now youth are showing interest to protect trees and nature.


“Green Hour” Initiative

“Not only students, but also youth, of all age groups, both in rural and urban areas will be involved in our GIC. We are going to ask every student and youngster to spend at least one hour per week for this Green cause. This is our Green Hour concept, for next one year. We want to build teams of volunteers at village level,” said Santosh.

To begin with, around 50 villages will be taken as pilot project basis to build these volunteers who will meet once a week. They will participate in GIC activities like planting saplings and protecting them, besides discussing various other issues related to save nature and environment, he explained.

This Green Hour concept is designed by Karunakar Reddy, who leads Igniting Minds, which in turn is inspired by late President of India APJ Abdul Kalam. Aimed at nurturing and nourishing a green generation, this Green Hour initiative will promote community spirit among the youth.

At a time when Climate Change and Global Warming have emerged as major issues before the world, this kind of community response is essential to promote the green cause. At a larger level, this Green Hour initiative will involve students and youth towards Sustainable Development Goads (SDGs), adopted the world over.

We want to have a fixed one hour time every week, preferably Fridays in all schools and colleges so that students can join together and discuss, debate on innovative and workable solutions to environment related problems. Each group will have 10 members,” said Santosh. Still work is going on on this Green Hour programme.


“Delighted by the response”

I am more than delighted to see the response from people of all walks of life to our Green India Challenge in the last few years. I am able to contribute in my humble ways to the call of our CM KCR garu – who wants to see a Telangana of more green cover.  Our tree cover has gone up in the last 8 years since Telangana formation,” said Santosh.

As of July 2, 2022, GIC so far contributed to planting of 16.18 crore trees by around 4.2 crore people. This has created employment to as many as 198 persons. The trees planted by GIC could absorb 356 crore liters of CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) and released 191 crore liters of O2 (Oxigen) into atmosphere. Saving the planted trees is the biggest challenge for all.

Around 11,000 corporate companies too have joined GIC. Dozens of celebrities all leading film stars, artists, politicians,  officials and spiritual leaders have enthusiastically participated in the GIC.  Asked about participation of Tollywood heroes in GIC, Santosh said: “Not only have film stars & celebrities, even ordinary people too made it a point to plant a tree on their birthdays or marriage days. That gives me immense satisfaction”. 

Santosh particularly referred to a 5 year old boy – Aaswad – from Adilabad district who planted a sapling on his birthday recently, on December 1 (Excel India carried this story). “This shows the awareness and commitment among parents to teach their children importance of trees and environment,” said Santosh.

Karunakar Reddy of Igniting Minds told Excel India that Santosh has created a huge impact through his GIC in the last five years. “CM KCR garu has launched Telangana Ku Harita Haram, but it required people’s support and involvement. GIC has filled that space and motivated public,” said Reddy. By next year, more youth are expected to join this green campaign.

Santosh is a member of Parliamentary standing committee on Environment & Forests. 


Happy Birthday Santosh!

Santosh Happy Birthday






Rama Krishna Sangem

Ramakrishna chief editor of excel India online magazine and website

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