App to help people save trees

Technology empowers environment

Environment

May 12, 2021

/ By Palak Chawla / New Delhi

App to help people save trees

Save Trees app which is currently available on Google Playstore has over 500 users in and around Delhi (MIG Photos)

New Delhi Nature Society, a non-profit organisation working to conserve the environment, has launched an app “Save Trees” with the aim to connect people from all-over the world to help save trees.

Over the past decade, as people have become much more conscious of the ever increasing environmental concerns, India has observed many protests and demonstrations against the felling of trees in various parts of the country like Aarey Forest in Mumbai or the Aravali Biodiversity Park in Gurgaon.

As citizens realise the importance of taking a stand against the rampant deforestation, New Delhi Nature Society, a NGO working for the protection of trees, animals and birds has come up with a novel medium to help people make their voice heard.

Save Trees app, the brainchild of Verhaen Khanna, director of New Delhi Nature Society, was launched on April 14, 2021. The app aims to help people make their voices heard on environmental issues that are often lost amidst seemingly more pressing issues.

“The problem in our country is that the people who are seeing trees being cut do not know what to do and the people who know are sitting in their offices unaware of the what is going on, this app aims to bridge that gap,” Khanna tells Media India Group.

Faced with the problem of the ever-increasing complaints and the inability to be present everywhere and every time due paucity of time and resources, Khanna designed the app to work as an interface, connecting common people directly to the relevant departments. The user friendly service also has various features, filters and location settings to help people tackle such problems on their own.

The app aims to help people make their voices heard on environmental issues (MIG Photos)

“I receive a lot of calls on a daily basis from in and around Delhi and while we try best to help these people and save trees but we cannot be present everywhere or be available every time. We wanted to streamline the process, provide an interface between the authorities and common people. This app connects the people who have information about the trees on one side to the authorities like the forest department and government officials, if not them then we have different NGOs on board who can help people file complaints and guide them through the process,” says Khanna.

“We also have a discussion page for each case on this app so that people can refer to these case studies and take ideas, officials can also set a radius on this app, like if the radius is five km from their office they can be notified if any trees are being felled illegally in the area,” he added.

The app which is currently available on Google Playstore has over 500 users in and around Delhi and has had a lot of success stories within a short time. “There was a case near Sundar Nagar, in South Delhi where trees were being felled illegally a user posted on the app and got a response from the authorities very quickly,” tells Khanna.

Khanna and his team hopeful about getting more and more people on board are currently working to get it on IOS as well while contacting and encouraging officials to share this app amongst their colleagues so that they can be notified if any trees are being felled illegally in their jurisdiction.

Pressing issues like the ongoing pandemic have shifted the focus of citizens and the media from environmental concerns in the capital rendering the government free of any answerability which has caused over 17,000 trees being cut for different projects like the Delhi metro project and the highly controversial Central Vista project, says Khanna. With this innovation Khanna hopes to sensitise people about environmental concerns and help them learn about the local laws as he believes that awareness is the key to hold the government accountable and bring about any real change. “On the one hand the city is struggling for oxygen and on the other we are cutting off our oxygen supply from our own hands, such initiatives are therefore needed to make people aware, as only through awareness will be able to bring about any real change on the environmental front,” says Khanna.

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