September 17, 2016
Syed K, environmentalist and organizer of NGO OSAI, was accorded the Unsung Hero award by the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Coimbatore (ICCI), for saving the lives of more than 4000 trees in and around Coimbatore. Vanitha Mohan, the president of ICCI, presented the award to him today.
Syed is a Coimbatore-based environmental activist who joined NGO Osai about 14 years ago. Since then, he has been working to save trees from being felled. Till date, he has saved more than 4,000 trees in and around Coimbatore. ” Through Osai, we have initiated campaigns and have successfully prevented advertisers from hammering nails into the trees. We have also removed thousands of nails and advertisement boards from the pavement trees,” he said.
Recollecting one such incident that happened last week, Syed said that a phone call from a concerned citizen last week and timely intervention by the NGO helped save four pavement trees from being unnecessarily cut down on the Pollachi Road.
Syed said that he had received a call from a resident of Pollachi Road. The caller, who identified himself as Chandru, was worried as a few labourers were all set to fell not one but four Mayflower trees close to his residence on Pollachi Road. Chandru had heard on the radio about Syed of Osai and his mission to save trees from being felled. He had saved Syed’s contact number.
. “I asked the labourers if they had the necessary permission from the Revenue Department for felling the trees. The answer was ‘no.’ This stopped the labourers from cutting the trees down,” Syed said.
Syed said that the public must be aware that they too can contribute to saving trees. “When you come across anyone cutting down a tree in a public space, just ask them if they have the necessary permission from the Revenue Department. If the answer is no, you have won your battle in saving the tree,” he said.