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Art world bats to protect vanishing lung spaces


Published on: June 10, 2017 | Updated on: June 11, 2017

Bengaluru: Not so long ago Bengalureans formed a human chain to protest the steel flyover that was threatening more of their green cover and forced the government to drop it. 

And now the city’s artists, poets, writers , theatre personalities and even  fashion gurus are coming together to orchestrate a unique  protest against the axing of more trees, some of which are over a 100 years old, in the grounds of the Queens Veterinary Hospital to make way for a modern veterinary facility and the relocation of Sarvodaya, central Bengaluru’s only Animal Birth Control centre.       

 "Celebrate, Create, Cry," as the Sunday protest is being called, will see popular artist, Bakula Nayak,  express her protest through art, theatre personality, Deepti Sudhindra  recite a poem on the cause and founder of children’s publishing house, Timbaktoo Publishing, Aparna Raman, mentor children writing letters to the trees.

Prominent fashion stylist and choreographer, Prasad Bidapa too plans to pitch in with his team of 15 top models doing a small photo shoot and ramp walk showcasing the different shades of green through eco-friendly garments in support of the cause. "The concept of this show is to highlight the fact that if we don’t save trees, we may be left with only one green, the colour in garments," he explained.

"It is going to be a peaceful creative protest , bringing to the fore the importance of this lung space through various arts," said Ms  Harini Raghavan, one of the core members of Knights for Queens, a citizen forum fighting to save it. 

"We are trying to rope in as many prominent names as possible. Some old Bengalureans will come and speak about how much the city has changed and we will  highlight the rich heritage of the Queens building and the 120- year- old trees in its campus. There will also be peaceful demonstrations in front of the hospital," she revealed, adding, 

"This day can be seen in two ways, depending on the fate of Queens. It could be us paying homage to the trees marked to be chopped down  or it could be us celebrating their wonderful existence."  

 Meanwhile, things are getting worse for Sarvodaya, which has been forced to shut down services after its power supply was cut off abruptly on the orders of the Deputy Director of the Animal Husbandry Department on Monday. 

"One of the ill dogs died while undergoing operation. The doctors tried to save him but there was no proper light and one cannot carry out treatment in candlelight," said  Vinay Moray of Sarvodaya Sevabhavi Samstha, which  runs the ABC centre. 

"We have stopped operations for six days now but the animal husbandry department just won’t budge," he rued. 

The centre is one of the only two functional ABC centres in the city that sterilise and vaccinates about 40 stray dogs every day.