Nagpur is all set to organize Maharashtra’s longest human chain on the occasion of Maharashtra Day which is on May 1. The human chain event is being arranged in a bid to display solidarity for saving the ‘Bharat Van’ mini-forest. More than 10,000 Nagpurkars are expected to be present and join hands to save the green cover.
The organizers of the event, residents of Bharat Nagar along with the founders and members of the different organizations assembled on Monday to chalk out a plan for the event day. According to the plan, participants will be asked to gather at the Futala Lake. The chain will stretch from Futala slums side up till the lake’s waterfront and will be of U-shape. It will be managed by Nagpur citizen who have volunteered to man the points they have been allocated. “Our volunteers will be present to assist the participants,” the organizers said.
The residents of Bharat Nagar and green activists across the city have been vocal about their disapproval of cutting down the age-old trees and the doing away with the green cover of a mini forest that in order to construct a road. ‘Bharat Van’ as this cover is called, is owned Dr Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth (PDKV).
Support has been pouring in from all quarters to save the Bharat Van including the Indian Medical Association. Citizen Organisations such as “Half Day Wildlifers”, and NGOs like “ Green Vigil” dissed the idea of cutting down the trees and said it would be of huge loss to the flora and fauna of Nagpur. “Alternate road via Ravi Nagar exists and the need of this proposed road itself is debatable,” it adds.
Central India’s Satpuda Foundation which works actively for forest and tiger conservation has also objected the move in a letter stating the following: ‘The virgin forest patch near Bharat Nagar is one of the last few green patches left in Nagpur. This green cover actually helps reduce the atmospheric carbon and to fight the climate change. The proposed road by cutting large number of natural old trees is unnecessary, avoidable and against the concept of smart city adopted by the government.’
Amravati-based Center for Animal Rescue and Study, Nagpur Residential Hotels Association and Bollywood actress turned United Nations Environment Goodwill Ambassador for India, Dia Mirza are some others who have vocally expressed concerns about saving Bharat Van.
Students of city-based schools and colleges have volunteered in big number to partake in the human chain. Schools such as GH Raisoni Vidyaniketan have appealed and encouraged their students to participate in large numbers. The students were seen making banners, posters and placards with messages. Another school who took the campaign a notch higher is Modern School. It announced an award of 25 marks to every student who participates in the campaign.
Reacho too, appeals to its readers and citizens of Nagpur to show up in huge numbers to protect Bharat Van and do their bit for the environment. Dr. Abheek Ghosh, from the organizing team, listed a set of instructions for the participants. “The event is a silent and peaceful protest which will begin at 7.30am and go on until 9am. Participants are requested to find the nearest registration desk at venue and get their names noted so that us organizers can keep a count. Also, please make most of the social media and use hashtags #savebharatvan #saveurbanjungles #unnecessaryRoad to keep the topic trending,” he said.
Additional set of instructions to all participants for tomorrow’s event:
1) Park vehicles in the NMC designated parking areas.
2) Fill the attendance sheet with your name, WhatsApp number, social media id.
3) Instructions will be given by volunteers moving in Maruti Gypsy.
4) Hold hands and look at drone camera flying overhead for documentation purposes.
5) Wear a cap and carry a bottle of water.
Note: This is a silent protest and everyone is instructed to peacefully form the human chain.
For further details about the event, give a missed call on 7767926611 or contact Dr. Abheek Ghosh on +91 9423355083