Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Networkers plant trees

Networkers plant trees
Meet a young, enthusiastic band of green warriors on Facebook using the website to spread the word on tree planting in the city. The response: Yabba dabba doo!

Bangalore has seen a considerable loss of green cover and some young citizens are looking at contributing their mite in an effort to restore the city to its former glory.
The Bangalore Tree Planting Group was started just a couple of weeks ago on the social networking site Facebook to mobilise support for an initiative to plant trees across the city. Already, the group has as many as 307 members and now the whole group is gearing up for a community tree planting session by the end of this month. The idea is to plant around 1,000 trees all along Koramangala Intermediate Ring Road.
It all began with three young socially responsible persons —- Rajesh Golani, an IT professional, Karthik Ponnapa, a marketing professional and Raghu Tenkayala, a law student.
When the disappearing greenery started to bother them, they decided to do something about it.
So they got together and started mobilising support for the initiative. Mind you, they are not a non-governmental organisation (NGO) and are doing this because of a concern for the environment and the city they live in.
“Fortunately, all three of us have some background in volunteering with NGOs and that is why this is not new terrain. We are not a voluntary organisation, at least not yet, but only concerned citizens wanting to help in some way to increase the green cover in the city,“ says Karthik, who has volunteered with NGOs working in the field of education.
While Rajesh is associated with an organisation called NGO Post and writes every month for the NGO magazine Sattva, Raghu is into environmental issues and has taken up tree planting earlier.
“It’s great to see the kind of response that we got. In the first week of starting the group on Facebook, we had 200 people joining in. Now, we have 307 volunteers. The idea is to get people to sponsor a tree (which would cost around Rs 100) and to work with the forest department to plant trees, while also having an infrastructure in place to take care of them,“ Karthik said.
Meanwhile, support is pouring in through Facebook. These are some of the comments posted on the wall of the group: “How much water does one tree need, say, on a weekly or daily basis?“
“Was wondering if we could use gray water for trees ?“
“Hey, am waiting to go plant trees man! Never planted one in my life. Let’s go, let’s go.“
Bangalore Tree Planting has got the necessary permission from the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike and the forest department which will also be providing the trees for the planting session. “The forest department has been very forthcoming and we will be buying trees from them. Since they have the expertise, they are also helping us to identify the plant species that would be suitable. We have decided to plant young trees that are six to eight feet long since they are more likely to survive compared to saplings,“ he added.
The group will get water tankers to water the trees periodically and they have also tied up with Domlur Resident’s Association to help with the watering.
The trees will be planted all along the Koramangala Intermediate Ring Road divider, from Ejipura Junction to the start of the flyover.


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