Kunjal Welfare Society members at work.
Kunjal Welfare Society members at work.

Bhopal: The cruel sun has begun to cast its pitiless glare at a time when the coronavirus has again crept into the city. To counter the blazing April, a group of social workers has come up with a plan to keep residents cool. As the mercury has crossed 40° Celsius and the sky is raining fire, a group of Bhopalis has come together to plant saplings and nurture the existing ones.

A social worker, Prabha Gaur, told Free Press that summer has come early this year. March no more feels like spring and April is going to be hotter, she says. Nature has been giving hints of its fury for the past few years and it is high time that people understood the severity of climate change, says Prabha. Plantation is one way to calm down nature’s aggression. However, society needs to do more, she says.

Gaur says many politicians, famous figures and people, in general, run plantation drives. But there is nobody to take care of those plants after they leave with a picture for their social media, she says. The prime goal of ‘April Cool’ is to help plants sustain together as a community as, at the end of the day, it is going to benefit the community where the sapling has been planted, says Gaur.

Gaur’s group, Kunjal Welfare Society, runs an awareness drive to inspire people into taking the responsibility of plants and trees in their areas. The idea of celebrating April Fool’s Day would be foolish this year with an increasing number of corona-positive cases, says another social worker, Sunil Dubey. He says, therefore, he decided to do something productive and invest his time in taking care of nature. Dubey has planted many saplings during and after the lockdown. But it is not enough, he says.

A beautiful city like Bhopal is losing its beauty and greenery, says Dubey. People need to take care of the plants and not let them dry up, he adds. So, he along with his group has planned to water and give manure to every plant he can in his vicinity. The temperature is rising by the day and has crossed the 40-degree mark in 16 districts across the state recently.

‘Bringing back the balance’

Another social worker who is involved in the campaign, Aditya Raghuvanshi, says that, for a forest state like Madhya Pradesh, the rising temperature should be a huge concern. “That’s why we’ve come up with the initiative to bring back the balance. This is, however, not a one-day job,” he adds.

As the hot winds have been raising dust across the city, they have identified small groups in various areas of the city who reuse waste water to spray on the roads and fields. This would, at least, be of some help in lowering the temperature, he says.

‘Saving the stray animals’

Raghuvanshi says stray animals have to face the consequences of humans’ failure in conserving nature. “We put up industries, harm the environment and take a good night’s sleep in our houses with air-conditioners installed. The water in the lakes has dried up and the city has turned into a melting pot. The poor animals have nowhere to go. So, we’ve been digging small pits for stray dogs and other small animals to ease their pain,” he says.

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