Saluting the Earth on Her Day

Flying past, rolling on the roads, flying above them on major roads in Delhi are parachute shaped tiny seeds of “Saptaparni” going the way the wind will take them. The flowers of this tree are not so prominent. Then there are small round seeds coated in soft cotton balls seeds of the Silk Cotton tree of the “Panchparni.” These have, almost a month ago, displayed their splendour of bright large red to orange coloured flowers. These are especially noticeable as there are no leaves on these trees. Both blossomed six weeks ago.

Then the Gulmohars and the Laburnums and the Pongams are in full bloom because of the heat and the sun. These are trees planted way back in DDA colonies, school compounds and open spaces. While the Neem, Peepal, and the Banayan trees compete with these and grow any way. Today, they are delicate green with new leaves in the heat, slowly turning dark green. It is like cookies being baked in this heat.

Earth Day 2010

These are sights we notice in spite of our busy schedules in our every day lives. It would be a good idea to be aware of these sights and the impact it has on our lives. The good impact of large trees with green foliage is in providing shade when it rains in Delhi or when the sun is too strong, and to visit the shikanjvi stall set up under them. The bad I can think of is being uprooted in storm. The use these trees have in our lives is the first step towards taking action.

Living in cities we are alienated from nature and environment. Most of us wake up in the morning by the Metro train or the buses honking in the streets. We get ready to eat bread for breakfast. We use natural gas in cylinders or pipes to cook. We rarely walk to our place of work. We may knit but almost never weave our clothes. With the malls and all the year round shopping festivals and eco-villages , we have begun to depend more and more on our own vehicles to visit these places. Hence I truly appreciate the efforts of Delhi Greens in supporting the organizing of, and making people aware of, over half a dozen environment friendly events on Earth Day happening in the city this week!

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About 

Environmental anthropologist by training, been in the field for over 20 years. I am mainly concerned with the infrastructure and technology project impacts on people communities and their physical environment. Their adaptation and mitigation strategies, interests me, now especially in the context of climate change and CDM.

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