Residents of R.A. Puram are taking Nizhal’s Free the Tree Campaign (FTC)to the streets in their neighbourhood.
With Nizhal’s assistance, they have been removing advertisement boards and nails from the trees on these streets.
The campaign was launched recently at R.A. Puram by D. Mohandas, vice-president, R.A. Puram Residents Society.
The residents have teamed up with Suresh Ramanathan and his band of volunteers from Nizhal.
Under the first phase, the volunteers covered First Cross Street, a part of Second Cross Street, Third Cross Street, a part of Second Main Road, Fifth Main Road and Seventh Main Road of West R.A. Puram. They removed advertisement boards, nails, wires and metal cables from the trees.
“Seeing us removing the nails and boards from the trees, several residents joined us and helped us carry out this work. We will sustain this initiative,” said Mohandas.
There have been isolated cases of residents offering resistance to the volunteers’ work.
“ One resident objected to the removal of a rental advertisement board. After heated arguments with him, we removed the board and it hasn’t been nailed again,” V.R. Rangarajan, a resident of R.A. Puram, said.
The campaign was started on March 8 and areas such as Kotturpuram, Nandanam, Sastri Nagar, Adyar, Besant Nagar, Mylapore, Mandavelli, and R.A. Puram have been covered.
“The response has been great; people from all walks of life have taken part in the compaign. We expect greater community participation and the residents to ensure that the boards are not nailed again. At several places, autorickshaw drivers helped us by stopping people from putting up boards on trees,” M.N. Gajendra Kumar, a Nizhal volunteer said.
“Fungal infections may occur in the small gaps that are created due to nailing. After removing the boards and nails, we apply clay and turmeric powder to prevent the infection. There is little awareness about the problems of driving nailing into trees. We are ready to assist groups that may want to be involved in FTC.”
Dr. R. Chandrasekaran, founder, R.A. Puram Residents Association, said, “The campaign will be conducted at periodic intervals. Residents must adopt and protect the trees outside their homes. ”