Green-Abad campaign kicks offGreen-Abad campaign kicks off

posted under by NSmurthy
HYDERABAD: Green stamps, green caps and a green song. The tree plantation drive of The Times of India's Green-Abad campaign kickstarted on Friday at Silver Oaks School when around 400 saplings were planted and had all the green ingredients to set the pattern for things to come for the one lakh plantation drive being undertaken by TOI in association with the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation.

Braving the sun, students of Silver Oaks School gathered to show their solidarity to the green cause as they read out their school's new green agendas of gifting saplings instead of perishable bouquets and planting trees to commemorate birthdays of students and staff in the newly created 'birthday garden' (see box). After all, these steps were crucial as one student explained how he feared "the hole in the ozone" and the "polluted air we breathe".

Speaking on the occasion, DIG Soumya Mishra and Lead India winner from Hyderabad said that the TOI-GHMC plantation drive had kicked off on a very auspicious day. "The Rath Yatra in Puri starts today," she said, adding that the students were not only doing constructive work by spreading awareness on the importance of the green cover but were also involving themselves in planting trees. She coaxed the students to involve their friends and families and take up tree plantation near their homes.

The GHMC has given 250 saplings to the school for plantation in and around the school campus. G Vani Mohan, additional commissioner (parks), GHMC raised the slogan of 'Greater Hyderabad, Greener Hyderabad' and said that if each of the 70 lakh citizens of the city plant one sapling each, they would add 70 lakh trees to the city of Hyderabad. "Each one, plant one," she said, adding that students could play a key role in not just planting one sapling each but also motivate ten others to plant more trees. "Also, protect the plants outside your house, water it. Let's create an eco-city," she said.

Seetha Murty, principal of Silver Oaks School said, "Our students are highly motivated (by the programme) and we will take this green movement forward. This being an impressionable age, it is the right time to sensitise them to such values."

Kingshuk Nag, resident editor, The Times of India, Hyderabad, said the Green-Abad campaign started with the felling of the over 350-year-old banyan outside the Paigah Palace. But, the campaign became big with the tremendous response it received from the citizens of the city who started writing to TOI in large numbers everyday expressing their solidarity to the cause.

"The GHMC too has reacted proactively and set up an expert committee to review applications for tree felling," he said.

Silver Oak School, which has earlier composed the Hyderabad city song, on Friday, came up with a song to protect the city's green cover. At the end of the event as eager students lined up to leave their green hand prints on a drawing of a leafless tree, it was easy to gauge that the green stamps they left was of indelible ink.