Villagers of Shikarpur near Delhi give evergreen adieu to relatives succumbed to COVID-19


Express News Service

NEW DELHI: “Jinko jana thaa wo toh jaa chuke, aab unki yaad me kuch achha karna hai, gaon ka bhala ho jaye (Those who were destined to depart left us. Hence, the thought of remembering them in the best possible way, which can later benefit the village),” says 25-year-old Rinku Tyagi who lost his mother and grandfather to the pandemic in a span of one week in the last month.

In memory of their loved ones, Rinku and other residents of a small village have started a plantation drive. Around 30 families in Shikarpur village located at Najafgarh lost at least one of their family members in the devastating second wave of COVID-19 in the national capital.

Seventeen-year-old Aayushi Tyagi who lost her 70-year-old grandfather Omprakash Tyagi believes that the concept of planting trees has a good motive and hence is easily accepted by the villagers. “Instead of wasting money by building status or anything else, planting trees in memory of deceased relatives was a refreshing idea. In the coming years this will eventually benefit the villagers. I am sure even my grandfather would be happy over the fact that we did something which would serve the society as a token of remembrance,” says Aayushi.

Amid the pain and suffering, the idea of planting saplings in the village came from Gulshan Tyagi, who works with the Delhi Police. While Gulshan shied away and refused to comment, his associate in the initiative Paras Tyagi, who is the co-founder of NGO Cycle-India, says they were motivated by a team of five people from a nearby village who maintains 10,000 plus samplings.

“The concept of plantation of lakhs of trees by government is never successful because samplings are never cared for due to cost of maintenance. Plantations by families in their farms and own land will take care of these challenges. We found this socially relevant and environmentally sustainable,” he said.

A few other villages in Najafgarh area such as Dhansa, Issapur, Malikpur, Samaspur Khalsa and Ujwa are also planting trees. Issapur village alone has set the target of 10,000 trees while the rest are following.

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