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This 58-YO Bengaluru Man Wanted to Live in a Forest. So He Grew One in His Backyard!

For 20 years, Bimal Desai has been crusading for the protection of Cubbon Park. Instrumental in getting night traffic banned in Bengaluru’s green lung, he has also grown eight Miyawaki forests in his backyard!

The walk from the bus station to Bimal Desai’s place was about 20 minutes. It was nearly 10 a.m., and the afternoon heat was already showing. A light breeze was helping me only so much as I wiped the beads of sweat off my forehead and hurried my steps as the sun started burning the skin on my feet.

I was on my way to interview a man who planted a forest in his backyard, but the number of trees I saw in that neighbourhood could be counted on my hand. The atmosphere changed as soon as I took that last left turn to Desai’s home.

The first thing I felt was the cool alley—almost like I have entered a whole new place. A canopy of trees, a contrast to the brightly painted independent houses in the next street, overlapped the concrete constructions till they disappeared.

The dropped temperatures, fresher air, and the greenery around the sprawling bungalow had confirmed one thing—Desai’s quest to grow a forest in Bengaluru was bearing fruit. He had moved to Bengaluru about 25 years ago with his family. Ten years ago, he bought a plot in Hebbal—a locality that was majorly paddy fields and open farms.

He had always wanted to live in a forest; the purchased land almost touches the extremely busy Outer Ring Road; this land, that had skyscrapers for neighbours, would be his sanctum.

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Tags: #environment, #india, #nature
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