HYDERABAD: The members of Nature Lovers of Hyderabad (NLH) on Sunday gathered to protest the imminent felling of banyan trees along the Chevella-Vikarabad road on the eve of Independence Day. Braving the day-long drizzle, the members of the organisation, who have been systematically documenting the trees by geo-tagging 914 banyans, conducted a pre-I-Day event by tying a national flag to the national tree, under the banner of ‘Save Banyans of Chevella’.
Around 40 people, including children, sang Vande Mataram and Hum Honge Kamyaab in Hindi, Telugu and English, and read poems on nature which was followed by a quiz. The protesters then stood along the road, holding placards and raising slogans against the felling of the banyan trees. Naturalist Kobita Dass Kolli made a model of a banyan tree to demonstrate why translocation does not work.
Divya, a BMS student at St Francis College said, “Earlier I believed that translocating trees is better than deforestation as the damage is minimal. But after today’s session, I realised that translocating old heritage trees is almost as bad as deforestation. It affects not only the trees, but also the whole ecosystem surrounding it.”
Juhee Chapman, writer and environmentalist, said, “The Bargad or Banyan tree is our national tree and on the eve of 75 years of India’s Independence, today’s initiative is an appeal to all to help fight to free these immortal trees that are part of our history and legends, from being axed.”