There’s been plenty of loss felt at the cutback on trees due to Bengaluru’s rapid expansion. Equally, there has also been anger felt at the enthusiasm of city authorities to build all over the city and uproot trees, virtually at will, on questionable projects. Bengaluru’s ‘Garden city’ tag has thus been under a cloud for a while now, especially for new comers who only find a city jammed with traffic and dust-laden air.
Citizens have tried to hit back. While the most evident form has been increasing protests and action at the High Courts, another movement has been quietly mushrooming. This one may get Bangalore back to being a garden city after all, even if in a different avatar.
Across the city from Hebbal to Electronics City and Vijayanagar to Whitefield, more and more citizens are getting interested in gardening and growing vegetables. Well-attended events, expanding nurseries and garden businesses are good indicators. The growing may simply be in a few pots on a balcony or in a backyard full of vegetable patches, but gardening has surely bounced back as a leisure activity.
Gardening is special also because people find it quietly rewarding and even stress-relieving. Working with the earth appears to also root us in better things even as our city lives proceed at a reckless pace. The comeback of gardening is also special for another reason: this generation of citizens getting into it are more industrious, methodical, and ambitious.
One of them, who has launched a community garden initiative in JP Nagar in inspired by Cuba’s famous organic garden movement, which is rooted in the cities. And all this is only going to deepen and expand Bangaloreans’ green consciousness further.
So much for authorities uprooting trees.