मेरा देश बदल रहा है, झाडे तोड रहा है |
झाडे तोडेगा इंडिया, तभी तो रस्ता करेगा इंडिया |

शेकडो वर्ष लाखो वाटसरूंना व पंढरीच्या भक्तांना सावली दिलेल्या या जुन्या पिपरणीच्या वृक्षांची चौपदरी विकासाच्या नावाखाली शासनाने कत्तल केली. काल सातारा जिल्ह्यात व्याख्यानासाठी निघालो होतो तेव्हा पंढरपूर-सातारा मार्गावर वाखरीनजीक या शेकडो झाडांचे धड कापलेले दिसले. मी गाडी थांबवून अतिशय दुःखी होऊन या झाडांकडे बघत बसलो. शेकडो वर्ष जगलेल्या या झाडांना एका मिनिटांत हि माणसं जमिनधोस्त करून टाकत आहेत. चौपदरीकरनानंतर मधल्या जागेत छोटीशी रोपटी लावून त्या झाडांची जागा आम्ही भरून काढल्याचा आव आणतील परंतु अशी जुनी झाडे आता टिकणे आणि वाढणे अशक्य आहे. अरे एकीकडे आम्ही करोडो झाडे लावल्याची वल्गना करतो आणि दुसरीकडे अशी जुनी झाडे तोडुन नेस्तनाभूत करतो. वृक्षारोपण महत्वाचे आहे पण त्याहुन जास्त त्याचे पालनपोषण असते; जे सहसा कुणी लक्ष देऊन करत नाही. शासनाने गतवर्षी दोन कोटी झाडे लावल्याचे सांगीतले त्यातली किती झाडे चिटकली आणि पुर्ण आयुष्य जगणार आहेत याची आकडेवाडी समजेल काय ? निसर्ग झाडांच्याबाबतीत तुमच्या जीवावर अजिबात विसंबून नाही. त्याच्यात स्वतःमध्ये पुन्हा सगळीकडे जंगल उभा करण्याचे सामर्थ्य आहे फक्त तुम्ही निसर्गाने उगवलेली व वाढवलेली झाडे तोडू नका मग भले ती तुमच्या हद्दीत असो वा खाजगी मालकिची एवढीच विनंती.

जुन्या काळात रस्ते साधे होते माणसंही साधी होती. वाहने वगैरे तर नव्हतीच बहुतांशी प्रवास चालत किंवा बैलगाड्यांनी असायचा म्हणुन रस्त्याच्या कडेला सावलीसाठी झाडे लावलेली असायची. परंतु आता रस्ते डांबरी झाले आणि माणसंही डांबरट झाली. स्वतःला रस्त्याने ऐसपैस सुपफास्ट जाता यांव म्हणुन झाडांच्या जीवावर उठली. ती बिचारी मुकी झाडं फक्त आपल्याला निस्वार्थ भावनेने सावली आणि प्राणवायू देत होती. त्या जागेवर उगवून त्यांनी चूक नाही केली पण त्यांच्या जागेवर रोड करून आपणच चुक करत आहोत याची जाणिव व्हावी.

संत तुकारामांनी सांगुन ठेवलंय “वृक्षवल्ली आम्हा सोयरे वनचरे” आणि त्याच पांडुरंगाच्या मातीत होत असलेली या वृक्षाची अशी कत्तल बघवत नाही.

त्या झाडावर शेकडो पक्षांची घरटी होती त्या घरट्यात अंडी होती त्या अंड्यात पिल्ले होती. हि सुद्धा राष्ट्राची संपत्ती नाही का ? तीचं संवर्धन व जपणुक ही आपली जबाबदारी नाही का ? विकास करणे हे तर कर्तव्य आहेच परंतु तो करत असताना ही वृक्षवल्ली व पक्षी गुरे ढोरे हे पण जगले पाहिजे अन्यथा निसर्गदेवता मानवावर नाराज होऊन तीची नाराजी दुष्काळ, भुकंप आणि त्सुनामीमधुन दाखवून देईल जी तुम्हा आम्हाला कधीच न परवडणारी असेल.

लेखक : प्रा.विशाल गरड
दिनांक : २० फेब्रुवारी २०१८

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