IIT Bombay’s Participation in a Green Initiative Brings a Breath of Fresh Air to the Environment

19 Dec 2023

The IIT Bombay Faculty Grove Project kicked off on August 26th when a group of IIT Bombay alumni and faculty – led by IIT Bombay alumnus Shirish Deodhar & Prof. Gudi, Dean ACR – came together in Khed, Maharashtra, and planted trees in honour of faculty members who embraced this initiative. Padma Shri recipient and IIT Bombay faculty member, Prof. Deepak B. Phatak inaugurated the grove. 

The IIT Bombay Faculty Grove project is among IIT Bombay’s crucial initiatives to promote ecological conservation and sustainability practices by planting trees and through ecology-related projects, even as it is a deeply personal idea to pay tribute to the fulcrum of the Institute – its faculty members (past and present). 

Prof. Ravi Gudi read out a message from the Director of IIT Bombay, Prof. Subhasis Chaudhuri, who said, “On behalf of all my faculty colleagues and the entire fraternity at IIT Bombay, I congratulate all the alumni who have gathered here on this august occasion of the inauguration of the IIT Bombay Faculty Grove. This initiative is an important and much-needed step in the conservation of our ecology and restoration of natural capital, and I am very happy that IITK Distinguished Alumnus Shri Pravin Bhagwat from the 14Trees Foundation has been spearheading this. I extend my congratulations to him as well as to Shirish Deodhar for his participation and financial support to the IITB Faculty Grove. It is really heartening to see IIT alumni rising up to global challenges, being socially responsible, and inspiring several generations of alumni, students, and citizens. I am also thankful to Prof. D B Phatak for inaugurating the grove. I understand that he arrived at the venue driving his own car. This is really very inspiring. I am sure the grove will serve as a test bed for many scientific and ecological studies. Once again, I express my congratulations and best wishes to all the alumni gathered there and wish the function all joy and success. I look forward to visiting the site in the future.”

The IIT Bombay Alumni Grove Project is the brainchild of IITB’s illustrious alumnus, Mr. Shirish Deodhar (B.Tech., Electrical Engineering, 1980), a Pune-based serial entrepreneur.   

The 14Trees Foundation is committed to building sustainable and carbon-footprint-neutral ecosystems through reforestation by transforming 200 acres of ecologically devastated wasteland. The foundation is restoring native green cover on ecologically degraded patches of barren hills by planting native trees, digging ponds to store rainwater and trenches to recharge groundwater, and generating livelihood for local tribals. The IIT Bombay Faculty Grove is an example site on land belonging to Dakshana Foundation, an NGO that helps bright and impoverished students predominantly from rural India to prepare for IIT and medical entrance exams. 

A few years back, Mr. Bhagwat decided to celebrate his alma mater’s Diamond Jubilee and give back by planting trees in the name of retired IITK faculty members. This inspired Mr. Deodhar to replicate Mr. Bhagwat’s initiative for his own alma mater. 

IIT Bombay is delighted to partner with Mr. Deodhar, 14Trees, and Dakshana on this crucial initiative. The trees planted in the name of the Institute’s faculty will stand the test of time and will act as a reminder of the Institute’s commitment to sustainability.  

As a special request, if you are in contact with retired faculty members, please let them know about this initiative in case they have not received any communication about it. It will be a great opportunity to reconnect with them.

For more images on the 14Trees Initiative, please click here.