Pune News : Brother duo take up ‘Uplift Lohegaon’ initiative to make Lohegaon Green

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Taha and Burhan Ezzi who have taken the initiative to make Lohagaon green again

Pune:  To help restore the depleting biodiversity triggered by excessive human activity and unrestricted development near Balaji Estate in Lohegaon, two young residents – Taha and Burhan Ezzi have undertaken a novel initiative called ‘Uplift Lohagaon’ by planting over 100 indigenous trees in the area among other environmental activities.

As a part of the initiative, brothers Taha (21) and Burhan (18) who have taken efforts to reach out to people to create environmental awareness in past 2 years have single-handedly planted various saplings and half grown fruiting trees including mulberry, lime, peepal, papaya, neem, stone apple, palash and guava trees in various places outside their bungalow and also on the road till Balaji Estate.

Baya’s Nest & Fruiting Trees

 “We did a preliminary scrutiny of the area of about 3 kms, stretching from Balaji Estate till the Lake view point to understand what can be done to make the place lively and sustainable again.  We purchased over 100 indigenous saplings and planted them all over our locality,” says Burhan, who also helps people in the city to  increase growth of their plants in their gardens.

Earlier the brothers worked together with a local NGO – Eco-Warriors and also checked previous survey records to understand how rampant urbanisation and destruction of habitats had led to displacement of several bird species in the area. 

Burhan Ezzi

Accordingly, the brothers have helped restore the habitats of several indigenous birds in the locality through awareness programs and by installing bird feeders and nest boxes across their neighbourhood.

“We educate the residents in the locality about environment conservation and the presence of indigenous birds like the Sparrows, Scaly Breasted Muniyas, Purple and Yellow Rumped Sunbirds, Red-whiskered Bulbuls and Silverbills, which are crucial part of our eco-system. We at times also distribute bird feeders, customized nest-boxes made from recycled wood and mud water bowls to every household with packets of different millets and rice, all at our cost,” adds Taha, who also makes organic fertiliser at home.

With the help from their neighbours, the Ezzis also started cleaning the garbage and other industrial wastes near their surroundings to ward off scavenging birds and strays who they say have been posing a threat to the other wildlife in the area.

“We also made sure not to harvest all of the fruits in our garden but leave around 50 percent for the birds to enjoy. We also grew two bottle palms for Baya weavers to build their nests on,” states Burhan.

With the awareness drives and measures, the neighbours too have realized the importance of maintaining the biodiversity in the locality.

Their neighbour, Clary Braganza states, “Earlier, the neighbours here would hesitate to get involved in civic issues. But after noticing the changes overtime, everybody now wants to play a part in helping the biodiversity in the area grow.”

Adnan Attarwala