Students and staff of a college here in Maharashtra have planted over 300 trees in a crematorium premises over the last seven years and developed it into a lush green garden as part of a nature conservation drive taken up by them.
The Khadgaon crematorium, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Latur Municipal Corporation, had been lying in a neglected state, with no gate, tall wild grasses grown all over the premises and stray animals making it their home.
But, students and other staff of the Smt Sushiladevi Deshmukh Senior College decided to give it a facelift.
Corporator Rajkumar Jadhav, under whose jurisdiction the area comes, lauded their efforts.
The college principal, Dr Ajay Patil, told PTI that since 2014, they have planted over 300 trees of different varieties, include Neem, Banyan, Gulmohar and Peepal, in the premises after taking permission from the civic body.
"The trees have now grown big and the look of the premises has completely changed. The crematorium has now turned into a blooming garden," he said.
In 2016, there was a severe drought in Latur. At that time, the college staff even used water tankers to nourish the trees planted by them.
During the second year of the drive, 40 staffers of the college adopted a tree each at the crematorium for personalised care, he said.
The college staff also takes up cleanliness and other social awareness drives regularly, he added.
Appreciating their effort, corporator Jadhav said, "Earlier, there was not a single tree in the crematorium premises, but now the place is lush green and they (college staff and students) conduct a cleanliness drive there regularly. I have seen their work."
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