Early in the morning when I come to office I often find people rushing towards their workplace. Very recently I too became the part of that insane mob who run towards their job place with alleging, cursing government about the amenities not provided to them. Earlier I used to refrain from those informative debates but as of now I sometimes play my role as leading protagonist of drama as I consider English speaking people as an incarnation of goddess Saraswati and their voice must be sounded more than else. Everyone has their own sermons and diktats about the civic problems, police, and administration. These people are having ample solution of drastic problems which even deputy Chairman of NITI Aayog could have ever imagined.
While traveling in a public bus my ears stuck to words of a plebian who was sermonizing all people about climate change and its effect on human lifestyle. He was an octogenarian villager and his words were so authentic that every people nodded their head affirmatively. Every scene which he narrated about the Holy city Prayag left people astounding. He told that he has been a regular visitor of the city from pre Independence era, how rapidly this city has changed is vividly etched in his mind. He sadly narrated,” I miss seeing that Iconic civil lines which are known for its bungalow and the huge tree where commuters use to sit amidst scorching heat. The Neem tree in old chowk where numerous freedom fighters were hanged by Britishers was regarded as a point of rebellion and inspiration for youths has lost its significance , I am a villager and used to travel pedestrian now find the city as desert where no place to rest.” He stepped down of bus with me at Patrika chauraha. I didn’t care to inquire about him and he soon became part of the running crowd.
But the entire day I was perplexed thinking that the city is galloping towards modernity and in that mad rush, we are cutting trees, destroying numerous gift of God which though may not express their anguish but will certainly lead to some horrible repercussions. I googled the old glory of Allahabad and was astonished to read the views of many foreign and writer who hailed city for its verdure. American author and humorist Mark Twain, who visited the town in 1895, wrote in his book Following The Equator: A Journey Around The World: “It [Allahabad] is a town of wide avenues and noble distances, and is comely and alluring, and full of suggestions of comfort and leisure... The bungalows (dwellings) stand well back in the seclusion and privacy of largely enclosed compounds (private grounds, as we should say) and in the shade and shelter of trees.” Now only remnants of those bungalows and trees could be seen.
A question struck and shook my mind that aren’t we heading towards a developed city where it will be a building locked streets, no greenery for us to stop. Heat waves will be common in Northen Indian as Loo. One estimate says approximately 25 million trees are cut in India annually. But the number of the tree planted daily is negligible in comparison to its cutting. The consequences of deforestation are known to every Tom Dick and Harry.
The trees which live around us have their history and special fondness with us. The lane which connects Patrika Chauraha to PVR in civil lines looks lively only due to trees planted since ancient time. The gathering around this streets over road shops is because of the shadow of trees. The authorities who are in the mad rush to fall these iconic trees who had their own history is also a root behind those who are earning their livelihood by selling tea, coffee, and various items by the roadside. It is the shadow of trees which allures people to hang out their time in scorching heat as everyone cannot afford to sit in air-conditioned restaurants.
PM Modi highlighted an iconic tree in Jhunsiin his Mann ki Baat, which is supposed to be more than 1000 years of age which was planted by Sufi saint Sheikh Taqi and is equally worshipped by both Hindus and Muslims. The tree condition is pathetic as people use it for medicinal purpose. There is a strong need to protect our nature's companion as no city and country would sustain without these Holy gifts. For me, a city without greenery is a bride without a groom.