Pallathur, December 12, 2011: The Chennai-based Shri AMM Murugappa Chettiar Research Centre (MCRC) has today launched the Rural Greening and Community Development project here at Pallathur, Sivaganga District. To be carried out in association with Coromandel International, a Murugappa Group company, the Rural Greening project aims to plant one lakh trees and medicinal herbs in the next four years at over 80 villages in Sivaganga and Villuppuram districts by motivating rural folk through awareness programmes and participatory interventions.

As part of the launch program, thousands of tree saplings were distributed to about 130 farmers of Karaikudi and Sivaganga taluks.

Launching the Project, Mr A Vellayan, Chairman, Murugappa Group, said that in the recent years there has been greater awareness about the socio-economic challenges posed by climate change and global warming across the world with many global forums, including the recent Durban Climate talk, taking up these issues for serious deliberations. However, there is a need to scale up the developmental work such as tree planting at grassroots level. He said that tree plantation helps to mitigate climate change caused by increased carbon footprint as a result of human activities and in addition improve local socio-economic conditions of rural communities.

He added that the MCRC’s Rural Greening project would change the environment of many districts in Tamil Nadu in the next ten years and would become a role model project to promote environment, and medicinal herbs. The primary objective of the proposal, he said, is to assist the rural people in restoring the green cover and the environment and also to improve their livelihood. Moreover they will be benefited by the by-products, shade from trees, saving in energy costs, clean air by reduction in greenhouse gases that cause global warming and improved water quality.

Mr Vellayan also pointed out the close links the Group has with the agriculture sector. He said that the group companies in sugar, tea, rubber and fertilizers have already taken up soil testing, farm mechanization and other technologies to enhance productivity of farmers.

Delivering the Welcome Address, Mr M V Murugappan, Chairman, MCRC, said that during the current year the Centre would have completed planting about 25000 trees in Sivaganga and Villuppuram districts with the help of farmers, and another 25000 would be planted by next year. He said that the project includes awareness programmes, plantation of economically important and forest tree species and providing seedlings to those who want to establish traditional herbal plants in their household. The rural greening will be carried out by motivating and involving all categories of people including farmers, local individuals, local bodies, government officials, college students and school children.

He added that the Centre would continue to provide financial and technical support to the farmers to protect the planted trees for the next four years. It has already posted field officers in these districts to monitor the program. The areas of focus will be streets, non arable land, tank bunds, waste lands, colleges, schools, house premises and temple land. “Our aim is to continue the work with the participation of the community for a further two years and bring about a mindset for caring for the plants in the future. The research will be performed with an idea of improving the plant & insect biodiversity, soil nutrients & organic carbon and change in microclimate of selected areas for planting,” he noted.

In his address, Dr K Perumal, Deputy Director (R& D), MCRC, said that the Centre has been imparting training to local communities in many Indian states on simple and effective environmental protection measures in the past 36 years to improve the living standards of the rural society. MCRC is also engaged in various research activities focused on optimizing the use of natural resources for improving the quality of life causing least harm to the environment.

The function was attended by government officials, academicians, panchayat leaders, farmers and students.

About the AMM Murugappa Chettiar Research Centre

Shri AMM Murugappa Chettiar Research Centre (MCRC) was established in 1973. Recognized as a Scientific and Industrial Research Organization by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR), Government of India, the Centre has also been recognized by the University of Madras to conduct Ph.D. programmes. MCRC is governed by an Expert Body of experienced Scientists, Engineers, Administrators and Educationists. MCRC works on path breaking research and development programmes as part of demystifying science and taking it to the common man. Situated in a five acre campus at Taramani, MCRC has facilities for research in Life Sciences including Microbiology, Biochemistry, Plant Science and Biotechnology, with a workshop to engineer and transfer designs to prototypes and fabricate devices for rural and industrial applications. MCRC is concentrating on Research and Development that can be broadly classified into two categories – Life Sciences and Engineering.

About the Murugappa Group

Founded in 1900, the Rs. 17051 Crores (USD 3.8 billion) Murugappa Group is one of India’s leading business conglomerates. The Group has 28 businesses including eight listed Companies actively traded in NSE & BSE. Headquartered in Chennai, the major Companies of the Group include Carborundum Universal Ltd., Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company Ltd., Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company Ltd., Coromandel International Ltd., Coromandel Engineering Company Ltd., E.I.D. Parry (India) Ltd., Parry Agro Industries Ltd., Tube Investments of India Ltd., and Wendt (India) Ltd.

Market leaders in served segments including Abrasives, Auto Components, Cycles, Sugar, Farm Inputs, Fertilizers, Plantations, Construction, Bio-products and Nutraceuticals, the Group has forged strong joint venture alliances with leading international companies like Groupe Chimique Tunisien, Foskor, Cargill, Mitsui Sumitomo and Morgan Crucible. The Group has a wide geographical presence spanning 13 states in India and 5 continents.

Renowned brands like BSA, Hercules, Ballmaster, Ajax, Parry’s, Gromor and Paramfos are from the Murugappa stable. The organization fosters an environment of professionalism and has a workforce of over 32,000 employees.

For further queries, contact

Vinod Kumar / Diya Kinger
Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide
Chennai
Mobile : 9840126179 / 8939623044

R V Prasad
External Communications Lead, 

Murugappa Group.
Mobile : 9840120590