February 10th, 2017
While on the one hand, the ever-increasing urbanisation is overthrowing the green coverage in the garden city of Bengaluru, a group of active citizens is celebrating the richness of nature and actively advocating its significance through their tree festival.
The third edition of this festival called Neralu, which means “shade” in Kannada, will be held in the city on February 18 and 19 solely to remind people about the importance of trees and why they need to be protected.
The festival is entirely driven by a group of active citizens of Bengaluru which comprise mostly the youth who organise this festival using crowdfunding. ” Our group mostly includes young individuals who are trying to educate as many people as possible through our festival,” said Kannan AS, one of the volunteers, to The Logical Indian.
“Most of the people consider trees as a part of our green cover, but we are trying to incult the mass with greater knowledge about the trees — their medicinal properties, their usage in different products, their cultural heritage, etc,” Kannan added.
A series of events are lined up on February 18 and 19 at the Cubbon Park and National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) which include tree walks, workshops, art installations and even dance and musical performances.
“On our tree walks, we take the participants around their neighbourhood, and a tree expert imparts them with the knowledge of those trees. The festival is also filled with science and art based workshops. We have a bio-mimicry workshop which looks at nature as a source of ideas and solutions to help solve human challenges, among others. ” said Kannan.
The festival has a lot of activities lined up particularly for the children as they believe it is very important to catch the imagination of the children and encourage them to engage them in activities related to nature, as they hold the key to the future.
Engaging a child is an important task, and for this reason, the team has been sending different educational kits to children at schools that contain games and activities. These activities can engage kids from primary school to high school.The teachers are also taken through an orientation session to make them understand how these kits work.
The Neralu group was initially working as an informal community of ecologically sensitive people. Three years back in 2014, they decided to come together and celebrate the spirit of nature through their first edition of this tree festival. “We don’t always have the same group of people organising the festival every year. The faces change as new volunteers join. Whoever can spare more time will participate more actively as a volunteer in that year,” says Kannan
The motto of Neralu group is to educate people about trees and celebrate their existence. With this festival, they hope that they could at least change the mindset of some people about nature who will be engaged in conservation of trees in the future.
With more and more skyscrapers being built in the city, it is losing out on its old-world charm of lush green beauty. The modest temperature, one of the most significant reasons why people loved to stay in Bengaluru, is also changing with every passing year. The city can no more boast of having cool temperature even during the months of March and April. The Nerula group is proactively working to spread the word and create awareness about the trees.
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The Logical Indian requests our community members in Bengaluru to mark their presence in this unique festival of nature and spread the word about the initiative.