Adopt a tree the day your child is born, a joint venture project between Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and Siddha Group, was a good initiative on paper but has flopped miserably with no response at all.
“Despite putting up posters and keeping forms at hospitals like Belle Vue Clinic, Woodlands, Ramakrishna Seva Pratisthan and Chittaranjan Sishu Sadan there had been no response from new parents and their relatives,” Mamata Saraf, deputy manager (CSR), Siddha Group, lamented to this correspondent.
On June 5, World Environment Day, KMC kicked off a campaign with much fanfare, that promotes a new kind of parenting in the city: new parents would be encouraged to adopt a tree on the day their child is born and look after it. The project proposed that if parents have no private land, KMC bosses would help them to plant the tree at a public place: either a city park or on roadside.
The parents can name the tree after the child — even give it the same name — which would be inscribed on a plaque along with the name of the parents and child’s date of birth. While the parents would be primarily responsible for the care and maintenance of the tree, KMC would supervise the process during and after plantation.
“We would depend on the emotional connect between the parents, the child and the tree for the success of the programme,” Debasish Kumar, member, mayor-in-council (parks and squares), KMC, had then said KMC authorities to start with had tied up with four premium hospitals: Belle Vue Woodlands, Ramakrishna Seva Pratisthan and Chittaranjan Sishu Sadan.
“I had personally taken it up with 10-15 fathers of newborns but all came up with excuses citing no time. They said that plantation is not their priority at that point of time and not in next six months of the lives,” Saraf said.
Confirming the flop show director general (parks & squares) Debashis Chakraborty said, “There had been no response so far. No new parents had applied to us for adopting a tree with the prescribed form that are available at different city medical centres.”
According to the joint programme of KMC and Siddha Group, any parent giving birth to a child at the four medical facilities would be able to collect a form and fill it up and appeal to KMC for the tree they wish to adopt.