When I went to take a flat on rent in the outskirts of a metro city, the property agent showed me a huge society with 14 ten-storey buildings. Just in front of the society was a kilometer-long shopping complex and the entire area looked like a concrete jungle. The agent proudly informed, “This entire area was a jungle once, but look at it now…isn’t it beautiful?”
He quickly switched on the AC in his office for us and gave another piece of information –this year it did not rain at all, which has made it hard to stay without the air conditioner. This agent is actually all of us, passive about the razing of jungles for infrastructure development but complaining about the increasing heat.
“The abnormal rise in temperatures during the month of March clearly indicates that we are cutting trees, but not planting the same number in their place. Planting, nurturing and saving trees is the only solution to reduce the adverse effects of global warming,” Prof. Hubnath Pandey, who has planted more than 1,100 trees along with his team inside the Mumbai University’s Kalina campus, told the Hindustan Times.
Hubnath Pandey is a Hindi professor and head of the National Service Scheme (NSS) postgraduate (PG) unit in Mumbai University.
Photo Source – Facebook
He is also a Hindi poet and has authored books like Samaantar Cinema and Lower Parel. Hubnath took up the mission of saving the trees four years ago. Along with the 1,100 trees in the Kalina campus, he and his team have planted 1,400 more in Ismail Yusuf College, Jogeshwari (East).
Hubnath’s vision is to increase the green cover area in the city, which would help to cut down the pollution. The NSS PG unit has also decided to convert garden and kitchen waste into compost. Along with 75 volunteers from the NSS PG unit, Pandey ensures that tree species such as banyan, fig, mango, neem, coconut and palm, to name a few, are watered daily, pruned and remain healthy.
Being a poet Hubnath has always tried to spread awareness on social issues through his poems. Be it his collection of poems, Lower Parel, based on the issue of mill workers in Mumbai, or his famous poem Musalman, Hubnath always carries a message in his poems. This time too, he is trying to accomplish his mission by spreading awareness through his short poems on trees.
When air itself turns toxic, we need professors like Hubnath who can teach the basic lesson of survival to our kids along with academics.