Maharashtra’s environmental initiatives have been given a significant boost with Sahyadri Devrai leading the charge in environment protection and conservation. Founded by renowned actor Sayaji Shinde, this Green Movement stands as a beacon for eco-conscious efforts in the state.
The movement’s influence expanded on 26 January, 2022, when award-winning actor Manoj Bajpayee joined the cause during an event at Aarey Colony, Mumbai. An age-old saying resonates with the mission of Sahyadri Devrai, “Dharmo rakshati rakshitah,” which translates to, “Dharma protects when it is protected.” In a similar vein, trees, when nurtured, will in return shield us.
For years, Sahyadri Devrai’s dedicated volunteers have been planting and caring for trees, their passion echoing in the verses they sing: “Jhadanche gun gau, jhadanche gun Gheu.” This phrase emphasizes both praising and imbibing the virtues of trees.
During the event, Bajpayee shared a heartfelt story about a beloved ‘Bel’ tree from his village, planted by his grandfather. This tree and its fruit hold a special place in his heart.
Sayaji Shinde highlighted Sahyadri Devrai’s commendable achievements, including the replanting of a century-old fallen banyan tree in Pune. He reminisced about a visit to Birmingham where he encountered a massive tree. He pondered upon the stories it might share with its Indian counterparts, tales intertwined with climate change and human actions.
Sahyadri Devrai encourages individuals to “adopt” trees, ensuring their growth and sustenance. The organization promotes the idea of gifting saplings during special occasions, a sentiment evident as saplings were presented to guests at their recent event.
Shinde and Bajpayee’s joint effort through Sahyadri Devrai underscores the indispensable role of trees in our ecosystem. Trees, after all, are evolutionary marvels that sustain life. The words of Saint Tukaram aptly capture this sentiment: “Vriksha valli amha soyare vanachare,” emphasizing that flora and fauna are akin to our kith and kin.
Let’s draw inspiration from Shinde, Bajpayee, and countless others in their quest to protect and promote our green heritage. Personally, I’ve gifted a sapling to my great-granddaughter, symbolizing the growth and nurture of both nature and the next generation.