07-04-2019 04:00 PM
Debarati Choudhury | My Indian Dream      207
If a tree is wounded, Vijay makes sure to heal it by applying a liquid bandage made up of bee wax and orange oil mix.
In a world where people are willing to cut more trees on a regular basis to build buildings, clear parking spaces, manufacture furniture, paper and so on, Vijay Nishanth talks to the trees, heal their wounds and consoles them. This urban conservationist from Bengaluru is on a mission to safeguard the greens and nourish them.
When urbanization came into the picture, Vijay started witnessing people cutting down trees at an extensive rate. So, he thought of mapping trees and came up with Project Vrushka in 2010 which aims at measuring the biodiversity through a tree census in Bengaluru. The website has a mapping system and when you go to the page, “Explore On Map” it shows you the remaining trees in a particular area once you select the ward and the street. And this is how he keeps track of the trees that are left. Vijay also plans to extend the project to Mysore in May.
Vijay is the only tree doctor in India and has been saving the greens and planting them since 2002. Whenever he comes across a tree that is girdled, he cures the wound by applying liquid bandage which contains bee wax and orange oil mix. And if there are any acid burns on a tree, Vijay makes sure to clean the wounded area first and then apply some nutrients to the root and fungicide to the exposed part.
Nature started drawing Vijay’s attention right from his childhood as he loved climbing trees, stay at Bannerghatta National Park throughout the night and listen to the voices of animals. While reminiscing about his younger days, Vijay told My Indian Dreams: “There was a favorite tree of mine and I loved playing around it. As days passed by, I started getting more attached to it but, reality hit me hard when I saw it lying down dead one fine day. Since that day I decided to save the green lives.”
Vijay has been a board member at tree committee of Karnataka since 2016 and an authorized volunteer with BBMP forest cell for over ten years. Right from putting a stop to illegal mining at Bannerghatta eco sensitive zone to stopping illegal trade of wildlife, Vijay does everything to put in his best for the environment.
Vijay was also the lead campaigner in ceasing the proposed amendment of Karnataka Tree Preservation act which saved innumerable trees from getting axed. Apart from saving trees, he thinks that planting them is also equally important and with this thought, Vijay has conducted numerous plantation drives all over Karnataka until now.
Recognition comes to those who work hard every day to bring a positive change to the society and Vijay not only gets acknowledged for his work but, also receives a huge amount of love and respect from people. In 2017, he got conferred with the Asamanya Kannadiga Award, for contributing to Karnataka’s conservation. In the same year, Vijay got felicitated with Rotary Community Service Award and Dr Saalumarada Thimmakka National Greenery Award. And in 2018, he got conferred with the World Green Infrastructure Congress award.
Vijay is playing a humongous role in generating awareness about the ecology and how essential it is to conserve it. He teaches children about the importance of nature and ways in which they can safeguard it, he also gives awareness classes on urban forestry to the corporate house.
Beauty can be found in every corner if you love nature with all your heart. Vijay’s initiative of preserving the remaining trees is commendable and inspires all of us to do our bit for the ecology.