Contributing to the International Day of Biological Diversity, a Tree Ambulance project was flagged off by vice-President Venkaiah Naidu on May 22nd in Chennai.
This project is aimed to revive and nurture hundreds of uprooted trees that have been devastated on a large scale due to natural calamities, especially after the cyclones Vardah(2016) and Gaja(2018) in Tamil Nadu, introduced with a vision to protect and preserve the green cover in Tamil Nadu that remains to be the lowest amongst all metropolitan cities.
In Chennai, only 0.46sqm of open space is accessible to each person and there is only one tree for every 33 people on the city roads.
This initiative is said to be the brainchild of Green man of India, Dr K Abdul Ghani and is sponsored by the SASA Group. A plant expert along with the helpers skilled with gardening tools, water, manure and pesticide, would also travel in the tree ambulance. We have the complete equipment including latest mechanical tools, fungicides and fertilizers,” said Suresh Krishna Jadhav, founder, SASA Group.
First aid treatment, seed bank, seed ball distribution, uprooted tree planting, plant distribution, aiding tree plantation, shifting trees, a survey of trees and removal of dead trees are the key focus points of this project.
“While humans and animals in the city have an ambulance, we wanted something for trees. Every year, some or the other disaster has been devastating the State. During Vardah, about one lakh trees were uprooted in the city and not even one was replanted. This is where the tree ambulance could help. If a call is made to the helpline number, we will relocate the trees at free of cost,” explained Abdul Ghani.
The project demands for community participation and spreading awareness in order to understand the gravity of the issue and contribute to the same in order to combat rising pollution levels and decreasing green space. The basic motive of the tree ambulance remains to look after the sick and damaged trees and help in reviving the uprooted ones.
At present, the project remains to be semi-automatic, it will automate the entire method of tree lifting and placing in the second phase, which is expected to happen in the month of December.
“Our ultimate goal is to set up a tree ambulance in each district of India and develop strong volunteer community to support this program,” Suresh Krishna Jadhav, founder, SASA Group as reported by Deccan Chronicle.
The ambulance service can be availed through the helpline number- 9941006786. For those who wish to be a part of this movement and know more about it, they can easily register themselves as volunteers on their website- www.treeambulance.org and contribute their bit to the service.