Lifestyle Environment 28 Jul 2017 A clean trick or tre ...

A clean trick or treet

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SNEHA K SUKUMAR
Published Jul 28, 2017, 3:05 am IST
Updated Jul 28, 2017, 3:05 am IST
A conscious initiative led by youngsters from the city is vouching to make Bengaluru’s trees spotless and healthy again.
Rashmi Prabha Sahoo of Reloading Green
 Rashmi Prabha Sahoo of Reloading Green

Bengaluru may be quickly dropping the age old adage of being the ‘Garden City’, just like its tree cover, but conscious, young folk from the city are going the extra mile to set that straight. A green brigade that calls itself Reloading Green has been in the news for cleaning fuming-frothy lakes, waste segregation and saying no to plastic. But now, they are on a new mission – to remove banners, bills and nails punched into the barks of trees through their BillFreeTrees initiative.

“Trees feel the same pain as any other living thing on earth when a nail penetrates it. So, they are healed when we remove them,” says 29-year-old Surendran Krishnan who founded Reloading Green along with Rashmi Prabha Sahoo. The founders, who are also software engineers, along with their volunteers have cleaned up about 500 trees to date, their latest survey being the horrific aluminium wires, pins and nails on trees on the stretch between the bustling Outer Ring Road and Bannerghatta Road. “While on their way home, to the office or in their areas, volunteers report bills pinned on trees. We keep them updated on the subsequent cleaning activities via a Whatsapp group or our social media pages so they can join us,” says 27-year-old Rashmi, who co-founded this initiative.

 

As the founder of VFC – Volunteer for a Cause, caring for causes comes naturally to Surendran. “The whole idea was to spread awareness about protecting and nurturing nature and our surroundings. That includes reducing use of plastic, composting, segregating waste at source and tree walks too. We’ve also cleaned lakes at Chunchgatta and Puttenhalli,” he says. As full-time techies with similar interests, the duo might not have time, but they admit to making time for it. “When a passerby stops and says ‘Good job guys’, when pre-schools putting up ads on trees apologise for their act, when a bus driver or a security guard helps us in cleaning up these trees, it makes us feel great, as we believe that a simple step can be a bigger leap for mankind,” smiles Rashmi. But they note that it’s not as idealistic as it sounds. “We see posters and pamphlets pinned back on the same tree we cleaned up a couple of days ago. We are now following up with the BBMP, regional officers and advertising agencies to stop this menace. We are also in talks with the BBMP to help issue notices for repeat offenders to make this cause more effective,” adds Surendran, heart firmly set on making Bengaluru’s trees healthy again.

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