Children’s commitment to a cleaner Lalbagh

Lalbagh Botanical Gardens – one of the landmarks that make every Bangalorean glow with pride.

Lalbagh has close to 1,600 rare species of trees, several shrubs and flowering plants collected from different countries, a glasshouse and a lake. And a terrain covered not just by the leaves and flowers from the trees but a lot of plastic and paper waste and plastic and metal containers of fruit juices and soft drinks, left behind by the thousands of visitors who do not give a thought about the others who might come after them. Although the park is cleaned regularly, the amount of littering far outpaces the availability of sanitation staff. During the heavy rainfall last year, many drains got clogged and the lake in the park overflowed.

Having endured enough, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board has now declared Lalbagh a “plastics free zone”. Throwing plastic waste or smoking inside the sprawling greens of Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, will soon attract fines.

The Lalbagh Gardens, originally planned and planted with rare trees by Hyder Ali, and later developed with equal care and interest under the British regime, now possesses trees and plants collected from different continents and carefully nurtured. It attracts up to 15,000 visitors on weekdays and more on holidays. Apart from being a tourist attraction, it is an oasis in an otherwise concrete desert for hundreds of walkers of all ages every morning and evening.

As an additional measure in the cleanliness initiative, the Horticulture Department has announced a “Clean Lalbagh For a Green Lalbagh” campaign to protect its ecology. As part of this campaign, environment-friendly citizens, the Friends of Lalbagh organisation, and other non-governmental organisations have been invited to participate in the programme. They act as the friendly police to warn and deter anyone trying to litter the park.

Another encouraging initiative is the involvement of children to help clean Lalbagh as well as observe and participate in the planting and nurturing of plants. Such involvement will certainly instill a sense of belonging and pride which would automatically translate into helping them learn more about the environment and caring for it better.

The children will exhort visitors to use the waste bins and avoid throwing around plastic waste: They will assist in gardening work, watch and identify birds, help put up guards around trees, conduct a tree census, list the different species and make full use of the Lalbagh Library to get more information about the plants they will care for.

This would be a summer vacation well spent, being useful and learning in a healthy environment amid the greenery and fresh air some of the basic lessons of good citizenry.

2 Comments so far

  1. Mehak (unregistered) on April 7th, 2006 @ 12:31 pm

    Have visited Lalbagh once…’plastic free zone’
    thats the Bannerghatta National Park
    n good idea bout Children being part of this you said..’Summer vacation well spent.’

  2. rubic_cube (unregistered) on April 8th, 2006 @ 12:49 am

    Good exposure for children to gain understanding of our fragile ecosystem!

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