‘Don’t people understand that we should not cut trees?’
It’s not a question that every 9-year-old asks their mother, but it is the question that Hani HR from Hosakere village in Chikkamagaluru district wanted answers to when she found it too hot to play outside with her friends.
After just 10 minutes of playing with her friends in the Jappinamogaru neighbourhood, Hani, a student of St Agnes School ran back into her home in search of her mother. “She wanted to know why it was so hot,” Hani’s mother Pavithra Rathan told the Times of India. Pavithra told her daughter that it is because people are cutting down the forests.
Hani however, was not satisfied with her mother’s response. In her mind, she just couldn’t understand why people were cutting down trees when it was obviously causing much harm to the environment.
So she came up with a simple solution. “We will plant the trees that they cut” she told her mother.
Since Hani and her family live in a rented home, they are unable to plant trees without the owner’s permission. Far from letting this put a halt to her plans, Hani began asking other villagers if they would be able to plant trees. She was even willing to use her pocket money to accomplish the project.
Soon, many of Hani’s friends joined in. Pavithra reported to the Times of India: “I did not want to discourage her. I told her that I will support her in her project and be with her. I got in touch with Reshma Shetty whose daughter is Hani’s batchmate in their dance class. They soon had a team of students, including Athisha Shetty, Krishiv Shetty, Calvin and Jithesh.”
What started as one young girl’s innocent enquiry to her mother has grown into an active group of young eco-warriors, intent on lessening the damage inflicted by adults.
After a successful first endeavour in making her neighbourhood greener and more eco-aware, Hani is now preparing to stop people from using plastic and to make her neighbourhood a cleaner place for all.