WITH a view to spread awareness about the need to save mangrove forests in and around Mumbai, professor of St Xavier’s College and a nominated corporator in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Aakash Jadhav, and local Sena councillor Abhishek Ghosalkar, have set up display panels in Dahisar with an eye-catching logo that says: “Save Mangroves”.
When he first started his research on mangroves, Jadhav realised that people are hardly aware about their depletion and the need for conservation.
On further examination, he found out that the green patches along Dahisar, Versova and Carter Road were receding.
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This is when he decided to start a campaign to make people aware about the importance of mangroves in protecting Mumbai from tidal waves and how they are a breeding ground for aquatic life.
Inaugurated earlier this week, the ‘Save Mangroves” logo is on kiosks along the road with information regarding mangroves, their different species, aquatic life found in mangrove forests and the laws protecting them: all this in English and Marathi.
There are visuals as well to appeal to a larger crowd. According to Jadhav, “Such messages need to be loud and clear and I hope our initiative grows as a movement.”
Jadhav, who was already involved with ventures such as opening the first E-waste processing unit with the support of the BMC and cleaning of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in Borivli, added that mangroves serve a variety of purposes that most people are completely ignorant of.
“I always wondered how are the mangroves so huge. How do they grow in such clusters with no flowers? They have a very unique growth, surviving in seawater. For example, the ones in Dahisar are enormous with the trunks alone going up to as much as 30 feet!”
Stressing on the fact that ecological preservation is everyone’s responsibility, Jadhav said special funds should be allocated for the safeguarding of the ecosystem just the way there are funds for healthcare and other necessities.
Jadhav’s appeal to people is simple yet powerful: “Our heritage is passed on to us in different forms, and one such valuable and indispensable form is our environment. We must protect it, if not for ourselves, then as a gift for the future generations.”