Want a tree at Madras City? Send an sms..

In an attempt to make the city greener, Chennai Social Service a group of working professionals who use their weekends in social welfare acitivities has launched the SMS a sapling' concept.

 

Just their way of making planting a tree in your house as easy as possible. It's a simple enough process if you are interested in having a tree planted in your house, just sms 9894062532 or 9962673668. The volunteers at CSS will then work with you on what kind of tree you need or want and what arrangements you need to make for the planting and then within the week, they'll come over with the sapling.

 

"At our end, we have segregated the city into three zones," says B Satish, executive secretary of CSS. "And we are already in touch with nurseries and eco organizations across the city which have saplings ready for disposal. Most of the places give us the saplings for free," he adds.

 

CSS only plants shade-bearing and flower and fruit bearing trees. "We do not plant shrubs etc," says Satish. And all the trees are Indian species. "There's lots to choose from, says Satish. For instance, there's Poongan', propagated by the Forestry Department and which is a pest and animal repellent thanks to a bitter juice that its leaves give out. There's Pooarasan', which is a sub-species of the banyan and whose leaves make a whistling sound in the wind. The Ashoka tree is supposed to be a favourite for apartments that are near arterial roads because it manages to be a sound barrier. Then there's Badam', which has bright green leaves that turn progressively pinker as the tree gets older.

 

"The volunteers will bring all the equipment required to plant the tree as well as a leaflet on how to care for the sapling. But if the sapling being planted requires any special manure or soil, the house owner will have to bear that cost. Most of our saplings though can grow on any soil in Chennai," says Satish, who adds that CSS is in touch with Dr Srinivasan, a professor in the Horticulture Department of IIT Madras on type of saplings and maintenance.

 

SMS a sapling' is part of a CSS environment drive, which includes a documentary called En Per Maram' (My name is tree'), shot by R Sathyamoorthy, who volunteers with the organisation. The documentary, which was also launched along with the SMS concept on Sunday, features a host of Chennai's celebrities such as tennis player Sai Jayalakshmi and director Balu Mahendra, asking people to help make the city a greener place. It will begin featuring soon on various television channels.

 

TNN 28 July 2009