Independence Day event held near endangered banyan trees in Hyderabad
About 40 people attended a pre-Independence day event organised by the Nature Lovers of Hyderabad near a few heritage banyan trees
HYDERABAD: Holding umbrellas and braving a light drizzle, about 40 people, including 8 children, attended a pre-Independence day event organised by the Nature Lovers of Hyderabad (NLH) near a few heritage banyan trees on the Hyderabad-Chevella road.
The event began with putting up hearts and posters on the trees. Participants then stood along the road, holding placards and shouted slogans in support of the banyan trees.
The nature lovers then sang Vandemataram and Hum honge kaamyaab (in Hindi, Telugu and English). Children did some nature crafts with jungli badam and gulmohur pods.
Naturalist Kobita Dass Kolli used a model of a banyan tree that she made, to demonstrate why translocation does not work. Participants then read out poems on nature after which a quiz was conducted on India's national tree - the banyan. Prizes were distributed and refreshments served.
Divya, a BMS student at St.Francis College said, "Earlier I believed that translocating trees is better than deforestation as the damage is minimal. But after today's session, I realised that translocating old heritage trees is almost as bad as deforestation. It affects not only the trees, but also the whole ecosystem surrounding it."
Said Juhee Chapman, writer and environmentalist, "The Bargad or Banyan tree is our national tree and on the eve of the 75 years of India's independence, today's initiative is an appeal to all to help fight to free these immortal trees, that are part of our history and legends, from being axed."
Nature Lovers of Hyderabad has been running a campaign to save 914 old and valuable banyan trees and 9000 other trees on the Hyderabad-Manneguda road since 2019. They recently geotagged each of the banyans and launched a map with details of the location of the trees with photographs. They have been requesting the government to make the highway but leave the trees in situ. They would like the Telangana government to declare this road as the Telangana Biodiversity Heritage Road. They also filed a petition at the National Green Tribunal in Chennai in December 2021.