Pune: The plan of cutting down 6,000 trees in the riverbed for Mula-Mutha Riverfront project in Pune has sparked widespread outrage among social organizations and the Warkari community. The trees are set to be cut down as part of a beautification project for the river, which has a cost of Rs 5,500 crores to the public.
Many organizations jointly held Chipko agitation against the tree cutting and Madhav Patil of Angholichi Goli Sanstha recently met Warkaris who also extended their support to the protest. Patil said, “At least 50 organisms depend on a single tree, and cutting down 6,000 trees would put at least three lakhs lives at risk.”
In a show of concern for the environment and a commitment to the principles of the warkari, Shivaji Maharaj More, the President of Vriksdayi Sanstha, freed trees from nails at Chaturshingi, Aundh Pune. More was joined by Patil, who called on More to intervene to stop the slaughter of 6,000 trees in the river basin of Pune.
More, who is also a member of the Pandharpur Devasthan Committee, promised to take action against the tree felling, stating that it was wrong to cut trees just for the sake of beautification. He drew on the teachings of Tukaram Maharaj and Dnyaneshwar Maharaj, emphasizing the importance of understanding and reducing the pain caused to trees and calling for a climate strike on climate change.
The call to stop the massacre of trees has been echoed by many others, who argue that the felling of trees is a violation of the principles of the Warkaris and a betrayal of the teachings of the saints. The commitment of More and Patil to protecting the environment and preserving the teachings of the warkaris has been welcomed by many, who hope that their actions will serve as a wake-up call to the authorities to take steps to protect the environment and preserve the teachings of the warkaris for future generations.
Madhav Patil has also written a letter to the Warkari Sansthan, and received a positive response from them. He has appealed to nature lovers and the Warkari community to participate in the movement against cutting trees, citing the close relationship between the Warkari sect and trees, as emphasized by Sant Tukaram Maharaj’s teachings, Sant Tukaram had said in the Abhang “Vruksha walli amha soyre vanchare.”