When Wangari Maathai, an environmentalist and Nobel Peace prize winner made this statement in an interview in 2005, she was not aware of the fact that her statement would be in the process of materialising into a reality in this part of the earth.
Nizhal, an NGO (non-governmental organisation), working to promote tree culture in the city, has considerably revamped the ideologies of Chennaiites towards the concept of tree conservation and protection. With a set of tree- walks lined up and ready, Nizhal has surely made it a point to familiarise the term 'TREE' with the common man.
For those who are still pondering on the term 'tree- walk', it is an event where environmental resource persons guide the participants of the walk around several campuses in the city and introduce them to the various trees available over there.
A feature of sorts is narrated to the participants on the different facets of individual species and light is thrown upon hints of mythological and legendary references as well. 'Being a participant in a tree- walk is a lively experience, you get to learn a lot about your friendly neighbours the 'TREES'', said Naveen Nathan, a journalism student at Madras Christian College, Tambaram.
'In the environmentalscape of the city the NGO has played a pioneering role and has been able to conceive successful green initiatives that have founded a status quo for all 'TREES'' says Amarjit Sharma, a participant in one of the walks organised by the NGO. The organisation has been active and has been spreading the awareness among all strata of society through tools such as 'Tree walks' and 'Free the Tree' campaigns.
In an era of technological advancements, environmental security (e-security) has not been an issue of prime concern but with the radical changes in the global scenario of climate change, nature has surely forced mankind to rethink on its rickety stand.
With environmental organisations like Nizhal pressing for new green initiatives to harness e-security, the city can breathe a lease of life and can be convinced that the sight of a barren and lifeless Chennai, is not going to be a panorama of the near future.