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A Step Towards Making Bengaluru Green!
We grew up listening to the stories of clean and green bengaluru from our elders. On one hand we have buildings coming up, and on the other, we are losing our forest cover. The sudden rise in temperature of Bengaluru has alerted many of us to find a solution to be able to accommodate the future generations. We have one such energetic group amongst us in the city who believes in striking a balance between development and maintaining a healthy environment.
Trees For Free, a volunteer-driven organization has planted 53,750 trees in a period of 11 years under the guidance of Janet, the Founder and the only employee of ‘Rajanet Yegneswaran Charitable Trust’ commonly known as ‘Trees For Free.’ The group is working tirelessly to ensure that greenery is restored in Namma Bengaluru.
Janet started this organization in the memory of her husband R.S. Yegneswaran in 2005. Having lived in Bengaluru for many years, she has seen it transition from a green city to a concrete city. This shift gave birth to the idea of ‘Trees For Free.’
Janet’s love for the environment is not new. She enjoys engaging herself in gardening. Her hobby became her profession wherein she established Janma, a landscaping firm. She did gardening projects with offices, firms, her neighbours and she was also responsible for designing the landscape for National Games in the year 1997 held at Sri Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru. However, she now focuses on the work of Trees For Free and has stopped the operations for her company.
Trees For Free has helped in re-building urban forest around Bengaluru with the support and co-operation of various bodies, individuals and corporate firms. Janet buys saplings from the Forest Department every year during the monsoon season. However, she preserves them to be planted on demand throughout the year. As and when people request for saplings, she and her team first inspects the space to check if the plant can survive. Then she helps the people who agree to take care of the tree to decide which tree would suit the area best and hence ensuring that the trees are in the safest hands! This year they are planning to plant 4000 trees in our city.
Janet has engaged many youngsters in the process of getting the vision of Trees For Free to the world which indirectly is encouraging the younger generations to realise the value of maintaining our green cover. She says - “Come and Plant.” That serves all the purpose. This idea has inspired people from abroad to come and join in the journey as well.
She says that in 11 years of the existence of Trees For Free, she has seen the transformation in the attitude of people for the cause of environment. She recalls, “People did not know much about environment but now they do. There has been a rise in the level of awareness among the people.”
Trees For Free has participated in TCS W10K run several times and admires the support which India Cares gives through this platform. Infact, this was the first ever platform used by her to raise funds for the organization. She and her volunteers have even run the Majja Run in past! From the money raised this year, she plans to plant trees within 100 kms outside Bengaluru.
She has a huge support base from her granddaughter and her friends who are also raising funds for the organization. All she wants is to get the Greenery of Bengaluru back to what it was!
Remember, all we need to live is present in abundance around us! It just requires a little extra attention, care and support. Thousands of people under the banner of Trees For Free are here to extend their support to every individual who wishes to come forward and plant a sapling for a better tomorrow. Join them and take a step towards making your city green again, yet not at the cost of development.
As spoken to Navendu Rashmi,
India Cares Foundation