Sometimes, we get surprised by empathetic gestures when we least expect.
The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) showing mercy on a tree? This happened on the upcoming highway project - Ratnagiri- Solapur in Maharashtra's Sangli district. There is a very beautiful, breathtaking 400-year old banyan tree, whose canopy is spread over 400 sq.mtrs. NHAI wanted to axe the tree as it was an impediment for the road construction.
Apart from the beauty, the ancient tree, near a Yellamma Mandir, is part of the daily lives of locals and is home to many species of birds and animals.
Thankfully, environmentalists and villagers came together and through a group called Sahyadri Sanghatana, the residents uploaded photos and videos of the tree on social media, showing its beauty. They are created awareness among the Warkaris – a group of people who walk to Pandharpur every year during the Ashadhi. This tree on the route to Pandharpur, gave shelter to many warkaris too. When they were told that it could be cut soon, many pilgrims took pictures and posted on their social network and created a sense of activism, without a morcha or breaking any social distancing rules.
Well, NHAI is not cutting down this tree, realigning the road a bit and that’s a huge gesture. A 400-year old tree - imagine the history it has witnessed and if it could talk, the stories it could tell….