Help create a mass movement to green our cities with trees to last 100 years

Help create a mass movement to green our cities with trees to last 100 years

7 September 2022
Signatures: 398Next Goal: 500
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Why this petition matters

Started by glenn Fawcett



 Our Vedas and Puranas indicate that planting of a tree is no less than a festival. They stress the need for protection and development of forests and green belts and state in clear terms that the plants and trees are treasures for future generations.

The Indic philosophy, which encompasses religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, have held for times immemorial that the ecology encompassing the trees, plants, rivers and mountains are all sacred and are revered objects of worship. As per the Vedas, Cannabis, Tulasi, Sandalwood, Jasmine and Neem are five sacred plants.  Similarly, trees like Peepal, Tulasi, Banyan, Bael, Ashoka, Mango, Neem and Lotus are specially said to be worthy of worship in the Indic rituals.

In the year 1912, after the shifting of capital from Calcutta to Delhi, a Town Planning committee comprising three Englishmen namely, Edwin Lutyens, Herbert Baker and George Swinton was appointed by the then Viceroy Lord Hardinge. These gentlemen worked immensely hard by taking rounds of the would-be city on an elephant-back for ensuring that a magnificent green city is created from stage zero. This committee had the benefit of the gigantic effort of two more gentlemen, P. Clutterback and W.R. Mustoe, who were both horticulturalists. These two persons were given the specific responsibility of ensuring plantation of over 10,000 trees and over 100 kilometres of green hedges in the new capital. When Edwin Lutyens first surveyed the stunted natural vegetation of the landscape, he did not think that trees with shade-giving canopies – considered suitable for avenues – would survive in this city. It was Clutterback, who suggested planting 13 specific species of avenue trees, indigenous and native to India. Neem and Alstonia, two of the chosen varieties, were meant to purify and perfume the air, while jamun, sausage-tree and tamarind were picked for their fruit-bearing properties as well as to play host to avian residents.[1] So much effort and thinking had gone into the creation of green canopy in the capital over 110 years ago.

As a result, in Delhi, the Nation’s capital, avenues of large trees, Pipal, Banyan, Jamun and Indian mahogany which were planted more than 100 years back are now dying off and not being replaced in a systematic manner. When a tree falls or is cut for any kind of development, most often saplings are planted in their place. This is the international practice. Further, the large-scale concretisation which is being practised both by the state and private entities and individuals is also killing the trees and the green cover. The loose soil which helped in perforation of water, minerals and air to the trees and plants is being systematically destroyed for some kind of sadistic beautification, which is nothing but day light murder of the trees and plants. Where will our grandchildren and theirs play? Will they ever relax in the shade of a huge tree?

Since the year 2018, more than 50% of the 8 billion people inhabiting our own earth have migrated and now live in the cities. Whatever green areas which still remain, are depleting at a rapid pace. The quality of air and our lives is also diminishing at a break-neck speed. We are so engrossed in our own selfish material worldly things that we are unable to see the obvious and are collectively ignoring the inevitable results of our unforgiving indifference.

As early as 1938 in Stuttgart Germany, avenues of trees, parkways and corridors of water were used to funnel cooler breezes into the city at night. Stuttgart, now known as ‘coolest city in the world, has a climatology department with a staff of 13 to closely monitor the changing climatic conditions and to protect its environment, especially trees. The World Wildlife Fund in 2012 opined, “Using green ventilation corridors and construction bans at strategic places, Stuttgart has not only protected its climate with winds that hinder overheating, it has also improved air quality and increased resilience against global warming.”

The obvious solution for our cities and towns is to maintain the Boulevards of large trees and also side by side create new ones, surrounding schools, hospitals, industrial areas, wastelands, along highways and everywhere we can perceive. A healthy green canopy of long living trees is a fitting answer to defer and avoid the Climate Change, to save cities from becoming heat sinks, to mitigate CO2 emissions, to produce and create more oxygen, to reduce storm water runoff, to cool the air, to create appropriate eco-systems for flora and fauna including a conducive environment for birds, animals and insects and providing cathedrals of shade, inspiration and play for generations of children to come, who are all going to be our off-springs either directly or through our own children and theirs.

In view of the massive atrophy of large trees in cities and towns across the nation and the imminent dangers of a warming climate, we appeal to our government through your office, to act fast before we encounter a catastrophe and immediately begin replacing dying Legacy trees as well as initiating plantations of fresh trees.

It is our intention to gather at least one million signatures on this petition in order to show the Honourable Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, and his colleagues in the Government of India, there is a massive and passionate groundswell of support around this issue and as a reminder about much we all care for our children, their future and how much we cherish the continuous canopies of shady boulevard of giant trees across the country, wherever we can see. Ask yourself, is there anything more important than the air we breathe and the very atmosphere that supports all living things?

We request everyone to please sign this petition and send it to everyone you know, who you think will appreciate the intention to convince those holding the keys to power, of the urgent need to create a Ministry dedicated to making our environment liveable again by intensive greening of our cities, for ourselves and the generations to follow for hundreds of years.


Legacy Tree Initiative (LTI)

A joint initiative of the following persons and organisations:

Glenn Fawcett & Srinivas Kotni

Bharatiyam ( through


SD Roy

Anil Gupta

Dr. G.P.Rao

Rajesh Mittal

Ramesh Kotni

Dr. Suresh Singhvi

Archana Agnihotri

Priya Barjatya

Achaal Kumar Mittal

Asutosh Lohia

Bhanu Pratap Tiwari

Sunita Chowhan

Rohan Bisht

Naresh Chandra Mehto

Pankaj Gupta

N V Krishnan

Pragyan Pradip Sharma

R P Mittal

S S Josan

Vishnu Sharma

Chandrahas Mathur


[1] Based an article in ( dated July 20, 2018 by Selina Sen titled as “Modern Delhi’s founders wanted its trees to last 300 years. We are killing them within a century”

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Signatures: 398Next Goal: 500
Support now