- Award Entered:
Sport for the Environment Award
- Parent Organisation:
- Project Host Nation:
- Overview of Project:
Those belonging to the rural communities of Tamil Nadu live unaware of the environmental catastrophe that lies ahead. Factors such as climate change, mass deforestation and intensive farming have led large swathes of Tamil Nadu to become desert, making it unsustainable for human life. Project GreenHands uses sport as the primary entry level activity to reach these communities: organising and coaching volleyball and handball teams, implementing yoga programmes, facilitating tournaments, and hosting the “Rural Olympics.” These sports activities serve as a means to unite community members, whilst providing an opportunity to raise awareness about the issue of environmental degradation; conveying its urgency and willing people to act. Community participation is the key to Project GreenHands’ success. For example, the 2006 Rural Olympics led to successful state-level mobilisation of the population, resulting in plantation of eight hundred and fifty six thousand trees over three days - a Guinness World Record! To date, 8.2 million trees have been planted by a million people. Meanwhile sports, community games, and yoga activities continue to function in the hands of local people; serving to maintain an active and united community spirit - thus supporting on-going engagement with the Project GreenHands mission.