Anyone who’s lived in Nagpur for considerable time would know about the huge banyan tree standing at Ambazari T Point. It’s has stood the for more than a century, like a gentle giant with a calming presence and slender shoots touching the ground, standing at the embankment of Ambazari lake as a landmark. Unfortunately, some years ago when the local civic body started widening the roads in Nagpur, a lot of mud and earth was dumped around the trunk. Slowly it turned into a garbage dump and a hook to hang for political hoarding. The tree with a 42-foot girth stood leafless, dry and nearly dead.

Though, unfortunately very late, some members of Srushti saw this sight and were motivated to try and rescue the old tree. Preliminary survey revealed that loads of garbage dumped, plastic bags and filth was rotting around its foundation, garbage had burnt its roots and chocked it to near death. Immediately the whole area around the tree was dug up by volunteers and tons of filth was removed. The stench was nauseating and the whole surrounding area had a disgusting odour.

The tree was watered after a few days and anti-fungal treatment was done after a week. About a month later the tree started showing signs of recovery. But unfortunately it was probably the last spark of life. A few days later, most of the branches which had new leaves, started drying out and had to be trimmed.

Disheartened but refusing to give up, a team of 40 volunteers from Srushti along with few other NGOs and experts undertook a cleaning drive around the tree. A fence was erected around the area and all the dead & dry branches of the tree were removed. A banyan tree sapling was planted beside the same tree as a symbolic gesture of renewed strength. Two weeks later, 60 more sapling of about 10 feet high, which were developed at Srushti’s nursery were brought in. Truck load of garden soil, cow-dung manure were called for and volunteers dug up pit around the tree and planted these with the support of the main old tree. Few root saplings were even tied at five to six places on banyan tree branches which still had some life. These sprouts were brought down to the soil with the help of PVC pipe. Mixture of soil and manure were places there to provide the necessary nutrition to these sprouts.

Though the main tree is yet to show some signs of improvement, but the planted sapling have taken a firm grip and the sprouts have reached the ground at some places. We feel that the wait would be a long one, maybe a year or two, but the results would certainly be worth the efforts. The mission is to keep that tree alive and hopefully one day were would be successful in creating a huge interlock of Banyan trees there.

Since the commencement of the mission, Srushti with in discussion with the local civic authority to plant banyan tree all along the road that runs parallel to the lake’s embankment. Hopefully someday the road would be called the “Great Banyan Tree Road”.

campaign for wildlife

Srushti welcomes like-minded people who share the same dream like ours and would like to contribute their bit towards conservation. Know more how you can join us. [click here]

Campaign against Adani Power Ltd. at Lohara, near Chandrapur

When Srushti Paryavaran Mandal started working at Bor, we realised that water the prime essential for conservation was not up to the mark. Lack of funds was the main reason for this. Srushti undertook the repair work of hand pumps and water bowls inside the sanctuary within a year the thing began to change. To know more about this water conservation program [click here]


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