In this series, individuals, citizen groups and RWAs explain how they have dealt with the COVID-19 crisis in a constructive manner. In this third part of the series, a resident of Vasanth Nagar describes the measures he took.
In these times of crisis, we are all stepping forward to take care of our fellow citizens, and animals too. But what about our plants? Who will take care of them? Will the thousands of small, weak and vulnerable plants lining Bengaluru’s streets survive these five weeks of nationwide lockdown without water, especially during the peak Bengaluru summer?
We, Citizens for Citizens (C4C), a self-help citizens’ forum, discussed these questions on our WhatsApp Group right after the lockdown was imposed on March 24. The answer was simple – these plants will not survive for long if we do not take care of them. As the founder and convenor of C4C, I decided to take care of the plants in and around Vasanth Nagar.
Identifying a team
I began by identifing who in our locality will be able to help in watering and otherwise caring for these plants. We decided not to include senior citizens in this effort. After identifying and getting in touch with interested people, we formed a team with Kishore Singh, a courier business owner; Aravind, a milk vendor; Arun Sharma, a medical representative, and myself.
Watering the plants
Starting March 26, every alternate day at around 5 pm, we set out on our two-wheelers with water in plastic pots and buckets, along with a mug. We collect water from a couple of public taps in Vasanth Nagar. We do not water medium to large-sized trees as they can take care of themselves.
While watering plants, we remove any trash accumulated at the base of the plants. We ensure all of us wear masks and maintain a distance of 1 metre from each other as well as the people we encounter. After completing our rounds, we wash our hands thoroughly with soap and water and then use a sanitiser.
We hope citizens across Bengaluru can take care of all the young and weak plants in their localities to ensure they survive this period when there’s no one to take care of them regularly. This is the only way to ensure the greenery of Bengaluru survives the lockdown.