Thursday, August 29, 2019

Anjali - A Poem that Travelled to Rajasthan Over Two Years

On July 27, 2017, we posted a poem that Anjali had written for her school on this blog.
(The poem is given below)

Save a tree, save a life!
- Anjali Paruvu

Chop Chop, Bang, Bang,
Goes the woodcutter’s axe.
It is illegal though
He’ll have to pay extra tax!

Oh, dear sir,
What has the tree done to you?
What makes you murder it?
It gives oxygen and takes in Co2

The poor innocent tree,
Has only tried to help
But still he grabs his axe
And the tree silently yelps

Oh no! he’s going to do it!
Was this written in your fate?
Now we can’t do much
It’s already too late

Bang, goes the axe,
What have you done?

Now you killed one
But soon there will be none.

Cut to July 2019
Young Abhinay Renny, on sabbatical from TCS, is now a volunteer with the Azim Premji Foundation and is helping to teach schoolchildren in distant Sirohi, Rajasthan. (He is also part of the Tree Walk group in Hyderabad!) On a day sometime last month when there was some topic on the environment, he remembered this poem of Anjali's from my blog and read it out to the young children. The young kids liked it and told their Abhinay bhaiyya that.

He told them that they could write to the person who wrote the poem, Anjali, and convey their feelings and they were quite thrilled at this prospect of writing to the poet in Hyderabad. When he asked them how old they thought she was, they all said they thought it was a grown-up. He told them that she was only 11 so they could write freely.
A sample - Chiku's letter!
So arrived these wonderful, colourful postcards from Rajasthan in a couple of bunches by post - all conveying their delight and appreciation and her thoughts. Chiku, Sapna, Arvind Mali, Sapna Mali, Sugna Kumari and Ankita. Said Sapna 'I'll not let anyone cut trees. 'I'll also save trees.' Said Sapna Mali 'Looks like you love trees a lot. I am sure your home would be green and filled with plants.' Sugna Kumari said - 'I will also save trees. If you have written any other poem, please share.' Ankita said - 'I think you love to take care of plants.' Chiku, of course, was pretty direct - 'I liked it' - he said. Arvind Mali declared - 'I read your poem.' They drew these beautiful pictures on one side of the postcard - all environmentally-themed with lots of green, trees, birds, plants, flowers, harmony.  How surprised the postman would have been to see these lovely cards!

Such lovely coloured postcards - Precious!
Wonderful messages - more flowers!

I do like the way Abhinay connected so many dots - the poem, getting the children to write a letter, making them appreciate and provide feedback and making Anjali's day too! And also helping build a silent movement to save trees, to be conscious of the environment among these green warriors. I am sure they will do their all to save the trees and the environment. What I like best is the love and compassion they bring to their messages - there is no anger, violence, resentment - merely love for their trees.

The poem that began two years ago thanks to an initiative by Daksha School, Hyderabad, thus went all the way to the Azim Premji School in Rajasthan after two years. Like they say, there will be a ripple felt across the world when the butterfly flaps its wings. Wonderful work by all concerned and well-done Abhinay for taking the story forward!

1 comment:

Milind Deshpande said...

Congrats Anjali, for starting that ripple for saving trees. It is so heartening to note how Abhinay mentioned it at a school in Rajasthan and the kids there have responded. Now Anjali must be so happy to see all that loving feedback. Anjali’s school too deserves kudos for encouraging the students to be sensitive towards environmental issues ..