“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another,” said ecologist Chris Mayer in his book Forest Primeval.
True isn’t it? We are destroying the greens, we are clearing the land for our housing settlements, and we are stupid enough to think that we are selfish – we aren’t selfish, we are just self-destructive. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people. But what happened to all the forest cover in our spaces? Urbanization has murdered all the organic green goodness in the name of development. With rising pollution levels, we are joy-riding the motor of annihilation through overconsumption.
We at Focus Studios have been thinking about all of these things. How did we get started? Well, for one, as you all are aware, we have been traveling a lot for our wedding shots. During most of the transit times, I have been noticing one thing intently: Trees. Along the roads in ample green bloom, giving us some generous cover when we pull over for a break, quenching our summer distress by providing ample shade.. and generally making the world look better than it actually is. I then read a lot of literature around tree covers in my own city. I realized that in the past 4 yrs, more than 10,000 acres of greenery have been wiped out from Chennai by the govt authorities paving way for buildings.
I wanted to do something about it. I know that I didn’t want to play the savior, but I wanted to do my bit to a cause that I felt and continue to feel deeply about.
I/We wanted to plant trees.
“Where do I start?” was the first question I had. And then the other appendage questions came in, “what if I plant these trees and no one looks after them?” The more questions I had, the more confused I became, so I decided to toss the idea around to my team.
When you truly want to do something, the Universe conspires for you. It’s true. My team lapped the idea up and suggested that we start with planting trees in schools and colleges around. It also made sense to my ethos – let the kids grow up around trees, learn to care for them and nurture them, let their future be safe. With this idea, we did a small survey of school in and around the Kolathur area schools which have fewer trees or no trees at all. We zeroed in on Dr.Ambedkar Govt Arts College, Vyasarpadi, Chennai – 600039 and sent two of our dedicated workforce – Ms.Devi & Ms.Suganya – to the college to propose this idea to the management.
Things moved very quickly. The Principal was very thrilled about the proposal, he in fact assigned student body representatives to take care of the trees regularly. We decided to initiate the mission exactly a week from the day we received the nod from the College Management.
Planting a tree as an idea seems less laborious than the actual act of planting a tree is what I realized after this whole exercise. Thanks to our Team at Focuz Studios, we pulled this huge mission off, phew. We spent every waking hour that week planning, working to procure the plants, coordinating with the workers to bore the land – we thoroughly enjoyed this, we all worked with our hearts invested in the mission and it didn’t feel like we were working at all.
We planted 50 trees around the entire campus in total.
We felt amazing. I imagined how this place would look like 20 years down the line. Lots of college kids – reading, playing and resting under these trees – and the campus itself glowing in all the greenery around. I can’t wait to reclaim this feeling again. I want you to experience this feeling too – give something back to nature, nurture some green around, plant one tree a week in some public space and see what it does to your heart. We have decided to do this once every two months – another tree planting exercise, another school or college. 🙂
Additional details: Planting 50 trees in a college campus costed us Rs.17,100 in total, and if you would like to do this in your neighborhood and need details, please feel free to drop a comment here and we will get in touch with you.
It’s all about the intent. When your wish is for the betterment of the world, you will attract all the help you want. Plant more trees and make way for a better world.
Place: Dr.Ambedkar Govt. Arts College, Vyasarpadi, Chennai
Our Sincere Thanks to Principal Mr.Annaranjini Chellappa
Please share this post in your networks and help us spread the awareness. And here are some pictures of our super awesome team planting some really useful greens: