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Urban Dwellers Reforesting The Cities

As cities keep growing around the world, the destruction of wild forests continues unabated. One solution: Put forests inside cities. Impossible? Not if an engineer puts his mind to the job. Meet Shubhendu Sharma.

Shubhendu Sharma was just 22 years old and at the start of a promising career as an industrial engineer at Toyota, when an encounter with some saplings and a renowned botanist led to a change in toolset.

Akira Miyawaki had arrived in the area to plant a forest near the car production plant in Bangalore, and Sharma volunteered to help. It opened both his eyes to the fact that city-dwellers need trees, and his mind to a different way of life. "I was inspired to take up forestry as a full-time profession, and just go for it," Sharma said. He started with a small plot of land in his backyard - and within two years, had established a dense stand of shade-bearing trees. Since then, he's turned small tracts of land among the concrete jungles of Bangalore into tiny forests of native trees and plants.

Navaneeth KN

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