Abhinav, Kanishkar, Sneha and Chichanya are saplings named after the children who planted them in J P Nagar, a Mysore neighbourhood. A name gives a tree individual identity ; a bond with neighbourhood residents ; and, hopefully, a better chance of being looked after. Abhinav and Kanishkar were planted by their namesakes who gave up their game of street cricket for the evening on the say-so of their neighbour Ravishankar Patil. Ravi, an Air Force officer on home leave, has a green agenda for the mohalla where he grew up in Mysore.
Abhi and Kanish are helped by Ravi’s mother in planting. As her son, Sqd.Ldr. Patil put it, the saplings will grow with the school boys ; and stay on the same street, as their namesakes, Abhinav, now in Class III, and Kanishkar, 6th Class, graduate and move on in life. According to his father, K P Patil, the saplings Ravi planted as schoolboy are now nicely grown trees in Bhadravati, Shimoga district. When the Patils moved to J P Nagar in 2003, they planted outside their house a couple of honge , representing their college-going daughter and son. Smitha, now an IT professional is married and has moved to Bangalore. Son Ravishankar, an Air Force squadron leader, is based in Bareilly.
Sqd. Ldr. Patil retains his passion for tree-planting. When on home leave in Mysore he collects children in his neighbourhood to help him further his green agenda. Saplings for stree-planting are home-grown by Ravi’s mother, Lalitha, in their backyard. The honge on their house front provides seed. Lalitha reuses empty Nandini milk packets by filling them with manure mixed soil. Seeds sown in Nandini packets are nursed into saplings, three to four months old. Apart from giving them away to other households, Lalitha prepares ready-to-plant saplings for her squadron leader son who comes home on leave every eight to ten months.
Sqd. Ldr. Patil would like to see his entire street covered with saplings before leaving Mysore on July 10. His regret: many of the saplings he planted during his last Mysore visit in August have perished during street-widening by the local authorities. Those who wish to wish him better luck this time could e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org