Would you take a stand and fight for a tree that has been part of your growing years?
Two young boys from Bengaluru did exactly that and left no stones unturned, saving a giant fig tree from being chopped off.
Parth and Arjun Choudhary, who are nine and seven, have been vehemently trying to save the tree in their apartment complex that was facing the axe after a collective consensus among the residents.
The decision was taken because the tree’s roots had overgrown enough to damage the sewage system.
Growing into the pipe, the roots seemed to be threatening to break it.
More like a permanent resident at the Euphoria apartment complex near Bellandur lake, the tree, for the boys, was an ecological habitat home to a diverse variety of birds and squirrels.
The boys tried to convince the residents, who wanted to plant four saplings in its place, out of chopping the tree. Parth and Arjun weren’t ones to give up and implored that it would take a really long time for the plants to grow.
“Why do we ask people elsewhere to `save the tree’ when the tree next door is on the verge of getting chopped?” Parth told TOI.
The boys with the help of their parents reached out to Vijay Nishanth, who is a tree doctor. Upon further discussion, Vijay suggested putting up a root barrier.
“I visited the complex and saw that it was possible to save the huge tree. I asked the kids and their parents to install a root barrier, which would arrest the growth of the roots without impacting the tree. This way, the sewage line and building infrastructure could also be saved,” Nishanth, who is also an environmentalist, told TOI.
Coming up with a plan with a budget of ₹25,000, that included breaking and reconstruction of the cemented driveway, digging of a six-foot-deep pit, installing a root barrier and filling the pit with manure and medicines for the root, the boys now had a solution that could help the giant fig tree live.
The boys’ determination won the residents over and many chipped in for the project. In addition to that, both of them put in their pocket money and went around asking people to contribute for the cause.
The boys also made a video that talked about the initiative and circulated it through WhatsApp groups as a bid to raise more money.
The little ones’ effort didn’t go waste and soon the residents were able to install a root barrier costing around ₹7,040.
“The work was completed on Thursday. I had to prune three large roots, which were damaging the pipes. I installed the root barrier and treated the tree. I also explained to the kids the science of saving a tree,” Nishanth added.
Young children with such inspiring consciousness towards the environment give us hope.
You can reach out to Vijay Nishanth here.