The exponential rate at which high-rise buildings and development projects are mushrooming across cities and towns in the country have given many of us a reason to rejoice.
However, one thing that is absolutely not beneficial is the hacking down countless number of trees in the name of development on a regular basis, as this could prove detrimental to our survival in the longer run.
The sad reality is that most of us do know about the perils of indiscriminate deforestation but do not act on it or at most, become armchair activists with not much involvement on the real front.
However, students of Meenchanda Ramakrishna Mission Higher Secondary School in Kozhikode refused to buckle down to the pressure from the corporation and guarded 300 trees facing the axe for a development project.
The school children had planted over 300 saplings, six years ago, along both sides of the road at the Karaparamba-Kunduparamba bypass, and would spend most of their free time watering and caring for these trees, just like a friend.
So, they were rightfully enraged when they came across the order to cut all the trees to construct a footpath and drainage under bypass extension project from the Public Works Department (PWD).
Under their environmental organisation ‘Prithvi Root,’ the children staged a protest to save the trees that they had nurtured all these years.
The students’ green crusade, fortunately, bore fruit when Thottathil Raveendran, the Mayor of Kozhikode, formally visited the area for inspection and agreed to revise the order on Tuesday, reports Mathrubhumi, a local Malayalam daily.
After the inspection, the Mayor concluded that all the trees need not be chopped down and passed an order stating that only those trees that were dry, decaying or posed a threat to the general public would be cut. And thus, instead of 300 trees, only five trees which fell under the criteria mentioned above were cut down.
Had it not been for the children’s resilience and conscious commitment to the environment along with the Mayor’s intervention, only 80 trees would have remained along the bypass road.
Alongside the Mayor, Santhosh, an assistant conservator with the forest department, Johnson, a representative of the ‘Save Tree’ committee, range officer Pavithran, and special forest officer Suresh, played key roles in revising the order.
It is heartening to know that there are people in the country who are willing to go the extra mile for our green friends and the conscious efforts of such crusaders are undoubtedly making a difference to the environment.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)