Volunteer Priyanka, on summer break after finishing her PU exam, joined her dad K N Sreenivas and tree-planter K R Gurukar in roadside digging at Giridarshini Layout on T Narsipur Rd. My role in the tree-planting squad is that of chronicler. It was past nine in the morning when they got down to digging earth to plant a couple of honge on roadside in front Mahashakti Ganapathi Temple. The three of them slogged in punishing heat till 11 a m when I suggested we called it a day(I got tired doing little more than watching them work).
Mr Gurukar didn't seem satisfied with the day's work - preliminary digging in front of the temple to mark the start of our tree-planting programme. He wanted us to start early from tomorrow - 6.30 a m. Today, two half-done pits were watered to soften the soil for further digging before planting to be taken up tomorrow. Mr Sreenivas and I were, however, pleased with today's pace. We hadn't expected to get any earthwork done today. If it wasn't for Mr Gurukar's determination, we wouldn't have done any digging. Our visit this morning was mainly to establish contact with neighbourhood residents. As we finished talking to the temple pujari and a couple of other residents Mr Gurukar suggested we start work right away, and without waiting for a nod from us, Mr Gurukar removed his shirt and changed into his working gear.
Earlier he was engaged in conversation with Dr Krishnamurthy, who lives opposite the temple. He offered to take us to meet some other residents, and suggested we convene a residents meeting in the next few days to mobilise support. Another resident Mr Manjunath opened the tap at his residence for us to water the pits - we used 12 buckets. The temple, still under construction, has no water connection. Mr Gurukar suggested if every devotee to the temple were to bring a little water from home, we could take care of the temple saplings.
As of now, we brought water from Mr Manjunath's residence. Which meant fetching the bucket from the end of the lane by the side of the temple. The temple trustees have offered support to our tree-planting programme. Chairman of the trustees Mr Gururaj welcomed our suggestion for the temple to perform vrikshe archana. Idea is to bless saplings brought by devotees, who propose to plant them in their backyard on special occasions. Saplings can be offered in archana at Giridarshini temple , as we do flowers, coconuts, fruits and tulsi leaves. If this initiative works, the deity here could well be named Vrishe Vinayake .