Start a Treelationship

In association with students of MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology

It’s 2020. A couple of decades ago, it was thought that by this time we would be the most technologically advanced that we could possibly be, in having flying cars, artificial intelligence that could solve any problem,cures for the deadliest of diseases, and the imagination had no boundaries. However, take a look at the world around you: there are forests ablaze, icebergs melting and species disappearing off the face of the planet. These are just a few of many in the growing list of environmental problems. Technological advancement in this era is happening at the cost of environment, but …

This is where the question of sustainability becomes very real and relevant. It is something that we can no longer ignore, because if we do, the consequence could most possibly be fatal. A common mindset though is that these problems are at a global level and we, as individuals, can do very little to prevent it. But in reality, ANYTHING, even the smallest of things cannot be neglected and every action of ours to save the planet will have a positive impact.

With this firm belief in mind, a group of 2nd year Biotechnology students from Ramaiah Institute of Technology, having great care and concern for the environment, after seeing the effects of natural disasters on the world around them, teamed up with an organisation called CiFoS in the hopes that they could make changes in their community.

CiFoS is a non-governmental organization, whose primary aim is to reduce adverse climate change caused by humans, by working with the public, through campaigns and events. CiFoS also works with the government for this cause.

Some of the events organised by CiFoS include Cycle Day, Walk To School, Segregation Drive among many others. Their campaigns, namely ABetterBangalorean, Walk To School and We Won't Feed The Landfills have brought about a significant impact on both the environment and people.

Their latest event is aptly named as “Start a Treelationship”. This basically implies building a healthy relationship with already existing trees: to cherish them, and not perish them. This event is the brainchild of the members of CiFoS, along with the students from Ramaiah Institute of Technology, a collaboration which happened back in September 2019.

When the students heard that an environmentally devoted organization exists well within a walkable distance from their college, their ears perked up and were ready to contribute to change in their city. Their first meeting was in September where the general change in climate was addressed and eventually narrowed down to the environmentally detrimental activities of humans in Namma Bengaluru. It was agreed upon that an event like “Start a Treelationship”, which is localized to a particular area will definitely not go unnoticed and many others inspired by it will come forward and emulate this event in the interest of saving the environment. Many innovative ideas such as tying a band around the tree to establish camaraderie with them, adopting a tree and changing profile photos to the tree one has adopted, neighbourhood storytelling around a tree, etc were brainstormed to save our green comrades. In the subsequent meets that followed, there was more brainstorming and enthusiastic discussions and eventually the word “treelation” was conceived, and deemed as a perfect fit, as it wholly encompasses the chief goal of the campaign. The participation of a group of such young volunteers can create a butterfly effect and others will follow suit. Young people, along with social media is a powerful combination that will help spread the word of this campaign far and wide.

Saving the environment is not just an issue anymore. It is a survival truth and the sooner we accept it the better. Individuals, organisations and governments need to come together and join hands to protect what is left of our planet so that the future is not wiped out before it’s time for a final curtain call.

Now it is in our hands to decide which way the scales tilt in determining the kind of world we leave behind for our kids, grandkids and future generations to come.

-Anushka Poola and Sharanya R