Monday, 22 June 2015

Plant Vs Plant, and what about stars?

Gangadhar Panday
@gangactor on twitter
Babul Films Society- non-profit NGO

It is an ancient Indian tradition to plant trees corresponding to each sign of the moon. The belief is that a person will prosper in life if he/she plants and takes care of a tree associated with their Nakshatra [ there are 27 stars as per Indian astrology]. The growth and flourishing of the tree indicates the individual’s prosperity, that was the firm faith prevalent. If a kid of today is asked the question – ‘what is a plant? The most probable answer will be ‘factory’ and not ‘tree’. With the single point program of earning money, at any cost and by any means, dominating the minds of people, the faith faded away and trees lost their importance and to a major extent their existence.

This tradition finds revival in the park located at Sanath Nagar, Hyderabad, Telangana state of India. The Government is doing this with the active support of the residents. This park is popular as Nakshatra Vanam and is also known as Nava Vanala Park. These trees are planted and grown under different sections in the park with names like Ashokavanam, Nakshatra vanam, Navagraha vanam, Raasi vanam, Saptarshi vanam, Nandana vanam etc., One can find many rare species in this park. The Vedas, Upanishad, Epics [Mahabharata, Ramayana etc.,] mention about many sacred and medicinal plants and this park is host to many such plants. Trees corresponding to 27 stars, plants worshipped by the seven sages [rishis] are an attraction not only to the locals who come for their daily walk but also to the visitors. Species of flowering plants that bloom and wither with the movement of the Sun are available here. A visit to this place is bound give rich experience to not just the common people but also the scientific community of botany branch.

Some threatened Plants in India [Pic Courtesy: nicsr ]

This mini star forest is a huge fillip to the awareness of plants, their diversity, uses to humanity, their religious significance etc. Nothing matches the aesthetic beauty of plants, flowers, fruits all with their vibrant and vivid colours. Indian flora, an eternal source of peace of mind, is finding its true expression at the Sanathnagar Park. It is heartening to note that the GHMC [Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation] has drawn up big plans to improve this park further. It is earnestly hoped that the vigilant citizens, eco-lovers will help these plans for the plants convert into fruition. Karl Marx said – religion is opium of the masses. If this opium helps in preserving and propagating the plant diversity, well it is good for humanity. Let the modern day Hanumans fly to Sanathnagar to find a herb to cure their known and unknown diseases and escape from decease.

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