Residents of Sreevatsa Gardens tell Vaibhav Shastry how their 28-acre campus acquired a green cover

It is hard to miss this serene residential space as you pass through Mettupalayam Road and head into Thudiyalur. With the heat rising, the 28-acre campus of Sreevatsa Gardens, a prominent residential complex in Thudiyalur, provides residents and visitors a pleasant and cool environment.

Five hundred trees of 58 different species add colour, provide clean air and shade to the residents, apart from attracting a rich variety of birds. Senior citizens and long-term residents take the lead in maintaining the rich flora around the campus and are role models for the younger generation.

Sixty eight-year-old V Sukuntha, a long-term resident of Sreevatsa Gardens doesn’t let age get in the way of her passion, gardening. A board placed at her gate clearly states ‘Gardening is my Hobby’.

“I have mango, coconut and neem trees, which I personally water and tend to for an hour each day. I also planted two sandalwood saplings recently. Peacocks and peahens arrive at my backyard every day to feast on the grapes,” says Sukuntha with pride. She has also planted a number of teak saplings and other trees around the club house, giving it great aesthetic appeal.

Neem, bamboo, ficus, silver oak, mayflower and jacaranda are among the many varieties of trees spotted here. Residents have asked for help from the Forest College to ensure that the roots of these trees don’t interfere with the road in any way.

The elder residents, having gained sufficient knowledge about the maintenance of trees over the years, prefer to take their own initiatives to keep them healthy. “I spend my mornings watering and pruning the various plants around my house. The green life around my house is always healthy and trim, and I make sure there is no plastic or garbage dumped in the vicinity either,” says D. Arjunan, a 74-year-old resident who is looked upon as a green warrior by the other residents. The campus is also plastic free, as waste is segregated as part of ITC’s ‘Wealth out of Waste’ programme.

Not just the retirees with time on their hands, but even the busy younger generation takes the time to contribute to the greening. Says Sukuntha: “I requested the younger residents to spend a little time watering the saplings around their house every day, and despite their erratic schedules and engagements, they have taken my advice and care for the saplings.”

The yield from the fruit trees are often shared with neighbours. The residents enjoy the mangoes, papayas, drumsticks and coconuts grown in their campus. Residents also take the help of a few gardeners in maintaining the trees. Residents and visitors have now grown accustomed to the pleasant chirping of birds through the day at Sreevatsa Gardens and the tranquillity of the environment. And they make full use of it when they come out in the evenings for their walks.

SPECIES SPOTTING

Neem, Bamboo, Ficus, Mayflower, Mango, Papaya, Coconut, Jacaranda

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