Sunday, March 16, 2008

Greening Mysore: Tourists can chip in

An eye-pleasing view of the tree-lined JLB Rd. as we come out of the railway station. If we cast our eyes to the right of this avenue we see (below) this wasted space that could do with some tree cover. Presumably, this is railway land.
Tree-planting is evidently not in the railway scheme of things. But they could allow others to do the planting on railway land, subject to certain norms and procedures, of course. I have in mind green-minded tourists who wish to mark their visit to this heritage city by planting a sapling. And the authorities could designate suitable tree-plantable space in the vicinity of the railway station.
As I took these pictures I thought, here is a job cut out for our budding ecopreneurs – Ashwin Upadhaya and Anil Kumar – who seek to promote tree-plantation in the city, not as charity but as business. SJCE alumni, both went out of Mysore - Ashwin, to Bangalore; and anil, to NOIDA - for a couple of years; only to return to Mysore, where want to set up a green company. They are not after big money, though they would like to make a decent living, while pushing their green agenda. As Anil puts it, working this out as an NGO isn’t always an effective and the most efficient way to green our city. Anil articulates in his blog the rationale for their choosing the business mode. He however has no illusions about the problems ahead. And I find Anil and Ashwin are open to ideas, however farfetched they might sound.

Here is a thought they could consider. Karnataka’s Golden Chariot comes to town on Tuesdays, bringing with it scores of high-end tourists. We could line up a brief tree-planting ceremony for them, at which each visitor plants a sapling. Besides being a nice experience, the tourists can take back, as souvenir, a green certificate carrying a photo of their planting a sapling during the Mysore visit. This would be a nice goodwill gesture on the part of the luxury tour hosts – The Mapple Group; or they could bill the green certificates to interested tourists.

I wonder what Ashwin(right)and Anil make of it. Or is this an idea that is easier written than worked out?


Gouri Satya said...

Excellent idea Mr. GVK for Golden Chariot visitors to plant trees in Mysore. In addition to the tree, a small plaque with their name and date of visit would be ideal also. I remember a similar instance. When Vanamahothsava was launched in the early 60s, a garden had been developed beside the Brindavan Garden, on the right side of the ramp. VIPs who visited Brindavan were taken there to plant a tree. I remember several VIPs had planted trees and the Horticulture Department had put up small boards with their names. I think this garden is no longer in existence because of the construction of KSTDC Tourist Bungalow near there.
Also a small business mode for an NGO, I feel is always good. They can function independently and effectively without Government aid and the strings attached to it.

Anil Kumar A S said...

Sustainable tourism is catching up all our. This is the right time for us to start working on this.

A 'SMRITHIVAN' in the memory of their vist and flight offsetting solution should be a right way to market this idea.

Gouri Satya said...

'Smirthi Van' project can be taken up at either Subbarayanakere or at Nishat Bagh, both need more trees and greenery today

Guru said...

I do remember the 'vanamahotsava' days, those naive days, when we were preached about by the VIPs during photo opportunities the value of planting trees and nurturing forrests! Well, in those days,f ootpaths were in existence and walking was not considered a chore to be ashamed of! Talking about Germans and green forrests, they are the most environmentally conscious with a thriving 'green party' in their midst. In the days of yore when I was working as an engineer in a company in Bangalore where my boss, the company chief engineer, was a German, both he and I used to bicycle together to work (he from his luxury hotel and I from my modest lodging!), while lesser mortals than him, very status conscious Indians, drove their cars to work.