Rajkot has barely 4 % green cover of its geographical area as per tree census of 2011, about 10 trees per 100 persons i.e. 0.1 tree / person which is way below national average of 28 trees per person (Canada has as high as 8953 trees /person). While Gujarati’s are famous for its philanthropic activity of feeding animals, birds, ants, the habit of over feeding at various places and predominantly around base of trees is found to be detrimental for not only trees but also human health as it invites rodents. These rodents find safe haven and create burrows beneath trees leading to loosening of root binding capacity of soil and eventually builds the case of loss of mature trees as the trees loses its capacity to sustain even a small storm. Nasa recorded 2017 as the hottest year without El nino effect which can be attributed to global warming. Surely 2018 is going to surpass 2017 records. Increasing climatic changes is leading to more number and more intensity heat waves. Presence of trees improves the micro-climate, provides shade and act like a water sponge apart from supporting bio-diversity. Thus with less number of old and mature trees, tree deprived Rajkot is going to be severely affected by not only increasing order of climatic changes but also a health scare facing impending terror of rodent activity. Is faith based feeding activity at the base of mature trees good for environment then? This is an action research project based on empirical evidences where we try to find why and the how of this activity and whether and how it causes harm to such big trees infested with excess food and what can be the alternatives such that faith is not hampered and environment not disturbed. This is first of its kind study in this city which will hold significance in terms of understanding our habitat and habits and in-turn bringing right kind of positive changes to protect our existing green heritage.
More about this research here
News Paper article based on this research appearing on 25-6-2018 here