Right across the road from the public park in Vijayanagar colony where our Ugadi plants are coming up is Ananthageetha Vidhyalaya. The school stands out for its greenary.The teachers here take as much care of trees as they do their students. The trees, on their part, provide a welcoming shade; and LKG teachers prefer to hold classes out in the open.
Friends of roadside trees(Fort-Mysore) found this school eminentally suited for trying out their pet scheme to initiate school children into backyard tree-planting. Some of us in Fort have been plugging it, with little success. This may be because we have been talking to wrong people.
Ananthageetha seemed a promising school from where we could make a start. They have planted even on public space in front of their school. "These trees are four years old," said the school founder K N Anantharamaiah, referring to their pavement plantation.
Within the school campus there are rows of teak, where students spend their lunch time. The management has throughtfully provided granite-slab benches where they have lunch.
The rows of teak gave us a context to talk about our scheme for student tree-planting. The idea is to persuade parents seeking school admission to plant a sapling to celebrate the occasion when their young ones start schooling .The sapling and their child would grow together. And children would relate to saplings planted to celebrate their schooling.
Prof.Anantharamaiah didn't need any persuasion to see the benefit in the child-sapling idea. Snag, he said, was that they had no more space in school for trees. We suggested that the children could plant them at their own backyard or on pavement close to their house. Referring space shortage the school founder noted that Ananthageetha had a strength of 320; and senior boys and girls used the public park across road for recreation, as there is not enough play-area within the school premises.
Prof.Ramaiah said they had already started admission process for the next academic year; and that our suggestion could be tried out with parents who bring children for fresh admission. He wasn't sure, though, about parental acceptance - 'we can't ensure implementation of our suggestion'. Mr E R Ramachandran of Fort-Mysore noted that the number wasn't important. Even if 10 percent of parents and students are persuaded to plant rees at their backyard, it would be worth a try. The children who do take up tree-planting could be motivated by the school. The best boys and girls from the nursery, primary and middle standards should be honoured on the school annual day. ERR came up with the idea of Friends of Roadside Trees instituting prizes for outstanding student tree-planters.