In this episode of Eco Talk, RJ Vijaya is in conversation with Jaydeep Bantwal, who helped save two Banyan trees – one 80 and another 40 years old – in Sampigehalli, near the Venkateshpura Lake. “In the name of ‘development’, people wanted to cut them off. When residents refused to comply, they lit fire to the roots of the trees! After coming to know about the trees burning, all residents came forward to save them. Today, they continue to stand tall and proud, and the spot is where now residents hold drawing sessions, games, yoga, and other such activities.”
Residents had approached the BDA when trying to save the trees and in response, the authorities decided to convert the land around the trees into a park. Today, the residents celebrate different kinds of occasions under the trees to raise conservation awareness among other locals as well. Initially, it was 5 to 6 people but now it has risen to 20 to 30 people who participate.
Trees occupy a special place in the hearts of these residents. Children have painted pictures of trees and hung them on the trees. Many other saplings have also been planted by the residents.
“Everyone needs to guard them. Any fishy activity will be questioned by the residents. Even in the night, we keep an eye out for the tree. If everyone in Bengaluru can act this consciously, then no trees can be felled for illegal activities.”