We don’t need Hospitals, we need trees | Shaadaab S. Bakht - GulfToday

We don’t need Hospitals, we need trees

Shaadaab S. Bakht

@ShaadaabSBakht

Shaadaab S. Bakht, who worked for famous Indian dailies The Telegraph, The Pioneer, The Sentinel and wrote political commentaries for Tehelka.com, is Gulf Today’s Executive Editor.

Shaadaab S. Bakht, who worked for famous Indian dailies The Telegraph, The Pioneer, The Sentinel and wrote political commentaries for Tehelka.com, is Gulf Today’s Executive Editor.

TREES

Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

ON ENVIRONMENT

It used to be such a pleasure when the wind blew. When it blew through thousands of its leaves and dozens of its branches. Its tip was often seen brushing our balcony and its fallen leaves and flowers were often seen pleasantly littering our garage. Women and girls would pluck its flowers for puja. Therefore, I was very upset to discover last month that the tree had been felled by its owner and my neighbour.


He doesn’t know the harm he has done to the environment. He also doesn’t know that good trees are to our health, what good guardians are to our children.

Permit me to tell you about a small town I visited some years ago in West Bengal.


He also doesn’t know that good trees are to our health, what good guardians are to our children


Almost every courtyard in the town had at least a dozen fruit-bearing trees, a sure source of round the year shade, rain during the rains and pleasure to the palate.


It wasn’t like that 15 years ago because there wasn’t enough water. That’s because there wasn’t enough rain. And that’s because there weren’t enough trees.

But the residents didn’t give up. Each one of them played a Greta Thunberg and worked hard to launch a powerful campaign to plant trees and nourish the existing ones.

It did call for an enormous amount of commitment, labour and time, but it worked. Rain, and by association water, isn’t a problem anymore.

The effort had to pay off. Because the desire for change was from within. And not an initiative launched by people, whose lives begin and end in ballot boxes, and whose genius lies in refashioning rhetoric.

It was winter and so soothing that I felt I was almost in a cloud-cuckoo-land.

One morning I decided to visit the railway station because that is where the action is in county towns.

On both sides of the avenue I took were beautifully done-up houses. Some of their courtyards played host to breathtaking gardens, some to cars, some to cows and goats and hens and ducks, some to taps, where clothes were being washed. And the refreshing scenario could be attributed to one single factor: plenty of clean water. It was flowing in huge jets from taps. The homes had wells too.

The stylish households, I could see, had placed garden chairs and even umbrellas among coconut and mango trees. My host had done the same.

On reaching the station market I could see a row of fishermen soliciting customers. But the loudest were the vegetable vendors telling us emphatically how fresh and nutritive their items were. Again, we had to source that to an enviable irrigation system.

Well, let’s do what the town did and not wait for the Thunbergs to arrive.

 

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