The Importance of Forests

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From the desk of Dr Nandita Shah

SHARAN stands for Sanctuary for Health and Reconnection to Animals and Nature for a good reason. When we are disconnected from nature, it's way more difficult to be healthy. Nature is a guiding force.

The world is going through turbulent times with climate change rearing its terrifying face almost everywhere. In some places, the repercussions are far more evident than in others. In Delhi, we had record levels of pollution. Most Indian cities are not far behind. Huge forest fires have burned through Australia charring millions of animals in their tracks. The US had its own share of forest fires last year. The Amazon and Indonesia were in flames too. Not all these forest fires are natural calamities. Unfortunately all too often the forests are seen as prime land for industries. The most notorious amongst these are the ‘animal agriculture’ industries. In order to produce grazing land for farming animals or for fuel ‘development’, millions of kilometres of forests are burnt down annually.

The forests are our only hope. Only forests can convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. Only forests can give us clean air, hold water. And forests are the homes of our last biodiversity. We can't afford to lose these. Greenwashing programs that tell us about re-afforestation are meaningless given the fact that forests take years to grow and need water. Our health, nay, our very lives depend on the forests and we are losing them quickly. We can all unite to stop this now!

A healthy Bharat, a disease-free India and healthy, happy Indians everywhere in the world is what we truly deserve. In association with LiveMast, we at SHARAN have initiated a satyagraha plea to our Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modiji  to go 100% plant based in 2020! Join us and sign the petition on



How can your diet affect climate change?

Watch this informative video by The Economist to gain a logical insight on the environmental impact of what we consume.

Raw bottle gourd soup 


  • 2 cups chopped lauki or bottlegourd (unpeeled of course!)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • handful of celery leaves
  • 4 pitted dates
  • 4 tablespoons fresh grated coconut
  • salt to taste


Put all the ingredients in the blender.  Add water as needed and serve cold.

Serves 2-3

Food for the mind


If you love Facebook, then join us to be supported on your plant based journey. we are offering three possibilities

1. SHARAN India This is SHARAN's main Facebook page which you can like and follow for getting useful daily updates and news from the plant based health world. You will also get news about the latest SHARAN events, see testimonials, and more.

2. SHARAN's Vegan Support Group This is an open support group to know more about vegan/plant-based lifestyle. Here you can ask questions and share inspiring stories, tips, recipes, etc.

3. SHARAN's Plant Powered Health This is the new group only for the past attendees of SHARAN's events: seminars, cooking classes, retreats or longer programs.

All our doctors and presenters will be here to answer your questions and give you tips. If you have attended our events join this group to be a part of our family.

Please like the main SHARAN page and join the group(s) applicable to you.


How can you help?        

Here are a few simple steps that you can take to stop deforestation and delay the next wave of extinction:               

1. Replace animal flesh and secretions

With animal agriculture being the biggest cause of climate change, there are more and more companies creating plant-based products that are similar to their animal-based counterparts.  You have faux milk, eggs, meat and chicken. The best part? Saves animal lives, and saves forests.

2. Practice minimalism

Consumerism fuels industries. Our purchases destroy forests and end up in landfills. Don't trash the planet. Don't buy anything that you don't desperately need or if possible buy second-hand. Reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible.

3. Grow your own

Get creative and optimise your kitchen counter with your own mini garden for micro-greens. Growing your own means less packaging, less food miles, and fresher food.

4. Carry your own

Make sure you carry your own shopping bag, your own containers, and even your own glass spoon and straw so you never have to use disposables! Even paper cups destroy forests.

5. Take only one

Just one paper napkin can dry your hand efficiently. One tissue may be enough to clean up the mess. Or perhaps you can use cloth instead? Whatever the need, be self-aware not to take more than you need.

6. Use public transport

Improve your efficiency, plan your travel and get many things done at one time. When using public transport, efficiency automatically improves. You are helping reduce those traffic jams. And since you'll be walking more, you'll get more exercise and improve your health at the same time.

7. Be an activist

If you know of a forest or even a tree that is being cut, be vocal. The more we all make a noise, the more people will recognise the value of the forests.

8. Hug a tree

Stay connected with nature whenever you can. Our future depends on it. 

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This newsletter was compiled by SHARAN Head of Mumbai, Reyna K Rupani, She facilitates the Six Weeks to Health Gain & Weight Loss program and also conducts health talks for schools, groups, corporates and more.

Edited by Vasanti Sundaram, Bangalore who has also benefitted from the SHARAN programmes, and now spreads awareness of plant based lifestyle through her talks.

Sanctuary for Health and Re-connection to Animals and Nature (SHARAN) is a social enterprise with the goal of spreading awareness about holistic health and an ecologically sustainable compassionate lifestyle.

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