In General

Greener: Helping The Neighbourhood Turn Over a New Leaf

These pictures are around my locality. I live in a place called Virugambakkam. Once considered to be part of Chennai’s outskirts is now very much part of the city as it expands. Expansion takes its toll. Greenery is the first victim. Trees mercilessly cut down as plots gets converted into apartments. The pictures below are from the streets close to my home. Notice how shorn of greenery the place is. Take a look at the first few pics and then scroll down to see the difference.

Now, see the difference.

The pictures you see below are also from my locality. The big difference: The greenery. Why? Because of a few residents who have taken the interest and effort to grow trees. Not only does it make it cooler and offers shade, its just far more pleasanter for the eyes.

A few of us in our own apartment have taken interest. About two years back, I got to plant a few saplings (mostly from the defunct terrace gardening I tried). Now, they have brilliantly grown up to be the big guys offering lots of shade. A few of my neighbours have also planted saplings. Take a look at the snaps below. They are all from the apartment where I live in.

This has actually got a few of us thinking. Damn! Why don’t we try planting more trees around the neighbourhood? Why don’t we encourage a few of the folks who share the same interest? It’s a great opportunity to get the community involved. People have good intentions but most don’t take the initiative. But when they see a good thing happening, they are always willing to support and give a helping hand.

In the next few weekends, I’ll be spending a few hours on Saturdays and Sundays on this project. First will be purchasing of samplings to plant them around. Buying samplings is the easier part, but fencing them and watering them regularly is going to be a challenge. That’s where the community participation comes in. Inititally, it’s going to be just a couple of us. I’m confident atleast one old man and two school children will join in to help. If we keep at it, I’m sure more helping hands will come in. This project has been close to my heart and have been meaning to do this for quite some time. Finally, it begins to take shape. Starting with this post!

P.S: As I write this, it’s raining. And I’m thinking, gosh, even the nature is coming in to support this. This could be the biggest support of all. It’s a good season. By the time the harsh summer starts next year, the saplings would have grown big enought to survive on their own. Good start.