Students take out march against expressway through Aravalli Biodervsity Park
Students of Gurugrm schools have voiced concern against the NHAI’s proposed six-lane expressway which, many claim, threatens the Aravalli Biodiversity Park in the city.
Around 5,000 students, teachers, and volunteers gathered at the Aravalli Biodiversity Park on Children’s Day morning and “adopted” the forest as a sacred grove. Together, they voiced concerns against the National Highways Authority of India’s (NHAI) proposed six-lane expressway – part of the Gurugram-Manesar Connectivity Project – which, many claim, threatens the park.
Between 10.30 am and 12:30 pm, students formed a human chain in the park, holding placards that read “green trees look better than grey highways”, “Aravalli bachao, government ko padhao” and “Highway? ByeWay”.
“We will tell the government that it should not go ahead with the construction of the road. If the road comes up, we will lose tress. Trees are important since they give us so much. How will we breathe without them?” said Sarita Sahu, a class 5 student from The Happy School.
Jahnavi Manglik, a class 8 student of Shikshantar School, chanted “ped hamari saans hai, hamari aakhri aans hai (Trees help us breathe, they are our last hope)”. “Aravalli is a public property and a six-lane highway doesn’t make sense. The air quality index will shoot up if the park is destroyed. People will not be in a position to step out if that happens,” said Manglik.
Earlier this month, The Shri Ram School had sent out circular to parents, urging them to join the campaign of saving the park. Shikshantar and Heritage school had followed suit with similar circulars.
Jhumar Anand, a teacher at Ajanta Public School, who accompanied 27 students, said, “The students were motivated and happy since they got a chance to do their bit in creating awareness about the park’s protection,” said Anand. She added that saving the Aravalli was important at a time when the city and its residents were facing the challenge of pollution.
Latika Thukral, founder of iamgurgaon, an NGO, said, “The children have also written around 4000 letters to the Chief Minister and the Prime Minister. We have collected 50,000 signatures and will be reaching out to the deputy commissioner and the chief minister to share the children’s concerns.”