Lockdown Greens- Citizens embrace Environmentalism
The rampant sacrifice of vegetation in the wake of infrastructural development is a habitual human practice. In the quest to add architectural aspects to the ever-growing cities, large and small trees are often chopped off the make space for asphalt, cement concrete, pavers, and modern buildings.
No one actually is individually to blame because, over time, our concept of beauty has undergone a rather ugly change. This change in priorities has affected the weather and groundwater levels by staggering proportions but then we have continued to accept this as the modern norm. And the sad part is, we choose to be blind to the imminent environmental catastrophe that threatens to shroud our future.
Covid-19, the puny little virus has taken the world by storm. The sheer infectious nature of the protein complex that makes up this new threat to human lives has brought life to a standstill. With no solution in sight, we have resorted to social distancing in an attempt to arrest the spread of the pandemic.
This lockdown, now a global reality, has meant that people have been forced to take a break from their super busy lives. Spending time with family and self, exploring long lost hobbies and embracing arts and creativity instead of just money-minting activities has in a sense made humanity more human by providing time and space for introspection. There is a sudden surge in the concept of social responsibility and the conscious have taken to the streets with due precautions, to help those in distress. A definitely welcome change, isn’t it?
One of the issues that the #Covid-19 has brought to the fore is a concern for the environment. Having read and heard across social media about climate change and the need to reverse it has brought back the focus upon trees as our true saviors; the true keepers of all life on this planet. How much this will translate into definite national and international afforestation programs is what only time will tell but the shift in focus at the personal and societal levels is definitely encouraging.
One such Lockdown Greens incident happened in the city of Belagavi in the affluent spaces of Hindwadi. In an initiative taken up by Mr. Paramanand Gulabani, Mr. Uday Kulkarni, Dr. Dodamani, Mr. Anup Jirge, Raju Kateganavar and other residents living in the vicinity of the Jain Temple took up the responsibility to create spaces for trees.
Little spaces for trees were created by taking off the pavers in the street to gain access to soil and around 100 saplings of different varieties were planted. Relative strangers got together in an attempt to accomplish this task, new goals were set and new relations established in a cause dedicated to restoring the greenery in the city.
The array of lovely little saplings trying to make their homes in the midst of the human populace is a treat to the eyes. They have even managed to install simple wire mesh tree guards to ensure good survival rates and are undertaking to water and nurturing of these wonderful creations of Mother Nature.
It is wonderful to witness this societal change for it signals an awareness that seemed to be dwindling with the passing of each day. One can only hope that this gets as contagious as #Covid-19 is and spurs other individuals and groups to take up the responsibility of protecting Mother Nature. Let us hope more plantation initiatives emerge.
When Citizens Embrace Environmentalism, it would be a wonderful new shade of smartness to our upcoming Smart City, isn’t it?
About the Author: The author is an environmentalist who is the founder and coordinator of the Green Saviours Association, a not-for-profit company engaged in tree plantation, restoration of degraded landscapes, and creation of forests in the region for 216 consecutive Sundays since April 2016. He is also an educationist, counselor and career consultant working as Training and Development Officer at KLE Society, Belagavi.