The best time to plant a tree was yesterday, the next best time is now”.
– An old Chinese saying
On a wet Sunday morning of 2nd July, over 60 volunteers consisting of members, friends and family of New Acropolis including 20 children participated in a tree plantation at the borders of the Sanjay Gandhi national park in Mumbai. Organised by the Active Ecology department of New Acropolis, the group was guided in their activity by Afzal and Nusrat Khatri a couple dedicated to several Ecological efforts across Mumbai, with a prime focus on adopting and transforming barren land into areas that support biodiversity.
After an informative briefing on the importance of the trees, and our role in increasing the green cover, volunteers were divided into groups. One group soon got into the act cleaning the area, while another got into digging up holes with spades and pickaxes. At each stage the advice provided by the Khatris’ provided an insight to the volunteers on the role of forest conservation in a city like Mumbai.
Team work and effort were clearly visible at times where volunteers even resorted to forming a human chain to help clean up and pave a foot path amongst the plantation. This tree plantation drive was a part of a 3 day initiative where 350 trees were collected and planted in the area. At the end of a tiring mornings work, volunteers were able to walk away with a sense of pride for not only having planted saplings but also for having made a small contribution that over the years will hopefully fructify to making a big difference to the environment of our city that is today gasping for a breath of cleaner air.
As our city has grown into a megapolis we have neglected the ecological defects of this development. Mumbai city is said to have the greatest amount of reclaimed land anywhere in the world which unfortunately came at the cost of loss of mangroves and other biodiversity from the region. To add to this, carbon monoxide and particulate emissions have risen owing to development, traffic congestion and general loss of tree cover. Activities such as this tree plantation drive help put some balance back into our environment. The time for waiting and watching is over and as Philosophers the time to act is now.