Chennai

‘274 and still counting’

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Just five months old, Tree Ambulance has revived many dying trees on the streets of Chennai. It seeks to increase its volunteer in the city

When a tree is in distress, call the Tree Ambulance. According to its team, since its launch on May 22 this year, marking International Day for Biological Diversity, it has helped relocate or revive 274 in Chennai.

K. Abdul Ghani, a banker-turned-environmentalist, who brought the concept to Chennai, “Our aim is to offer first-aid to trees. We don’t want another Vardah-like situation to happen when we lost hundreds of trees and we could not even replant them,” says Ghani.

The tree ambulance — a customised vehicle that has a helper and a ‘farmer-doctor’, apart from the driver — has helped remove dead trees, relocate trees for families wanting to take them along and replant trees that were being a potential danger to the safety of people around it.

Tree Ambulance processes requests based on a priority principle. Trees that have nobody to care for and those that need urgent first-aid are on top of the priority list.

The initiative has been running free-of-cost so far, but Ghani says he will not be able to sustain it in the long run.

“SASA Group helped me buy the ambulance as part of their CSR initiative. Similarly, I want more corporates and individuals to come forward,” he says as he plans to extend the initiative to other cities.

Tree Ambulance is also looking for volunteers. It currently has six core members and 100 volunteers. “At least 10 volunteers are needed while replanting a tree,” he says.

They would be trained to identify dead trees, treat sick trees and help with any re-planting exercise.

The services of the tree ambulance can be availed by calling 9941006786.

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 6:42:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/274-and-still-counting/article29786166.ece

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