Abhinav, Kanishkar, Sneha and Chichanya. The names these saplings would assume when get planted on streetside in J P Nagar, a Mysore neighbourhood. Idea is to give every tree on one's street an identity. Names bond these saplings with residents ; and, hopefully, give them a better chance of being looked after by the children whose names the saplings bear.
Abhinav (right) and Kanishkar carrying their saplings for planting further up their street. They gave up their game of street cricket this evening at the instance of their neighbour Ravishankar Patil. Ravi, an Air Force officer on home leave, mobilized these school students for tree-planting. Ravishanker, posted in Bareilly, devotes his home leave to the cause of greening the J P Nagar mohalla in which he grew up and the locality where his parents continue to live.
Seeing Abhi and Kanishkar engaged three others - Chinchana, Sneha and Dhanya - joined the green volunteers of 21 Main, J P Nagar. They lost no time getting down to the work on hand.
Abhi and Kanish are helped by Ravi’s mother in planting. As her son, Sqd.Ldr. Ravi Patil put it, these saplings will grow with the school boys on his street ; they would stay where they were planted, as their namesakes who planted them - Abhinav, now in Class III, and Kanishkar, 6th Class - leave school, go to college, and may move elsewhere to move on in life. The trees they leave behind would be there for them, on the very street Abhi, Sneha and the rest of them spend their childhood.
Mr K P Patil recalled that the saplings his son Ravi planted as schoolboy are now nicely grown trees in Bhadravati,Shimoga district. When the Patils moved to J P Nagar in 2003, they planted outside their house a couple of honge,representing their college-going daughter and son. Smitha,now an IT professional is married and has moved to Bangalore.Son Ravishankar, an Air Force squadron leader,is based in Bareilly.
Sqd. Ldr. Patil retains his passion for tree-planting.Saplings for street-planting are home-grown by Ravi’s mother, Lalitha, in their backyard. The honge on their house front provides seeds. Lalitha reuses empty Nandini milk packets by filling them with manure mixed soil. Seeds sown in Nandini packets are nursed into saplings, three to four months old.
Apart from giving them away to other households, Lalitha prepares ready-to-plant saplings for her squadron leader son who comes home on leave every eight to ten months.
Sqd. Ldr. Patil would like to see his street covered with saplings before leaving Mysore on July 10. His regret: many of the saplings he planted during his last Mysore visit in August have perished during street-widening by the local authorities. Those who wish to wish him better luck this time could e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org