THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Piled up stinky garbage, plight of hundreds of inhabitants fighting illnesses of varied kinds for over a decade and the waste treatment plant that closed down its shutters - the name Vilappilsala conjures up images of this kind. But now, a go green initiative by ‘Eco Ventures’ and ‘Round Table TBRT 126’ groups based in the city, has planted some 250 native plants at Vellanad, in the vicinity of the Vilappil panchayat. A beautiful butterfly garden in the offing will also add to the appearance of the place.
Praveen Muraleedharan of Eco Ventures says , “the capital city has around 200 to 250 species of butterflies. Each one has food plants suitable for themselves. A particular species will feed on those plants alone. The saplings we planted were chosen in this manner.” The decision to opt for the indigenous varieties was taken to contribute to the growing eco-system. “While plant nurseries sell foreign plant varieties, local varieties rarely find a place among them. Their role in contributing to the eco-system too is less.” Praveen adds. The team along with a group of 50 NSS volunteers of the Vellanad UP school, has planted 13 indigenous species there a few days ago.
It took the effort of the NSS volunteers and the members of Eco Ventures to collect the saplings that are scarcely found in the city. The crew ventured out to the villages and forest areas of Bonacaud and Kallar to amass the saplings. The quintessential varieties like Neem, Mango tree, Chethi, Hibiscus, Curry Leaf and Nerium (Arali) were included. The student volunteers were distributed caps, books and files on the day.
Previous year, the team had successfully planted 1000 plant saplings in the Karikutti colony of Vilappilsala. The saplings were grown on the premises of houses in the area. Team Eco Ventures says that the support and encouragement of those people are also behind this new initiative.
In April this year, the team, in association with the Residents’ Associations in the city, is organising an extensive programme to distribute tree saplings to households. “We plan to distribute around 10, 000 saplings under this venture. Those willing to participate are welcome.” says Praveen. As a prelude to it, they conducted a slide show programme highlighting the importance of planting trees in December in association with National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bangalore.