Mangaluru: Pained by sight of chopped trees, Charles D'Souza paints a strong message

Joshwa D'Souza
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru

Mangaluru, Jan 19: Mangaluru is a constantly evolving city, but with the increase in the rate of development, the city's green cover has taken a beating. Recently, to facilitate road widening from Valencia to Nandigudda stretch, neary 50 trees were cut.

Many of us have walked under the shade of these trees but few have expressed the pain of losing them. Here is a person from Mangaluru who felt that he had to do something to facilitate afforestation and give a clear message to the society and more importantly, to the authorities, on the importance of conserving nature.

What if these trees were made of flesh and blood, like humans? This is the powerful message emanating from 'Wood to meat campaign' started by Charles Anil D'Souza who works as a technical architect with a software product company in Bengaluru.

Inspired by his Bengaluru friend Vijay Nishanth, Charles has painted the wooden logs at Valencia to depict them as flesh. "Christmas was not so happy for me, the reason being there were at least 20 to 25 large giant trees being axed from Valenica to Jeppu. I have lived and grown up in Jeppu area for 23 years almost and walked under the shades of these trees and enjoyed and savored every breath of fresh air, watching birds chirping on during daytime and listened to insects screeching in the night. Though deforestation has been happening for the last couple of years, it impacted me the most this time," he says.

"These trees are almost 50 to 60 years old and someone planted them, keeping our generation in mind so we could walk under their shade and receive a breath of fresh air. I noticed about 20 rain trees and atleast 5 ficus trees (peepal) in this stretch which were or going to be felled. Each tree would have been an ecosystem in itself with different insects and birds. Importantly, it provided shade to young and old who were going to nearby churches and schools. On the contrary they have planted some cherry plants to compensate for the axed trees, which is ironical and dumb," he adds.

"Deeply saddened by the scene, I decided to do my bit for spreading message/awareness to people around by portraying the trees as bleeding by painting depicting a cut meat loaf on them. My friend Vijay Nishanth, a noted environmentalist from Bengaluru, known for project, implemented this idea in Bengaluru on felled trees. On similar lines, I implemented the idea, hoping a small spark would trigger in people's mind and make them aware of the importance of trees and that cutting them should be the last resort," Charles told daijiworld.

An environmentalist who works with in Bengaluru, Charles has also documented information about various trees in Bengaluru.

"When a tree is already cut, the only thing you can do is make people aware that they have lost a part of themselves. The approach I adopted by painting trees like sliced meat would send a message to some like-minded people. It was not a provoked action," he said, when asked a bout the response from public he hoped to elicit.

"I painted these trees on December 27 evening, and the following day I went around the area to see if more trees had been axed. Interestingly, and sadly, somebody had moved only the wooden logs I had painted. The unpainted ones were still lying there. I am sure this was done by the city corporation people who got the message. Also, while I was painting, a few passersby asked me whether I was from the forest department, and why it cut the trees. They shared similar sentiments on tree cutting and did not like the department's move either.

He also said no official from the forest department had contacted him or appreciated his concern, despite having clearly noticed his work.

Charles believes that through sustained and concerted efforts involving the authorities, the corporates as well as the public, the city's green cover could be maintainted. "Mangaluru is a small city and still very much green despite the fact that it has lost nearly 50% of the green cover as compared to 20 years ago. Thanks to the rich bio-diversity our city is blessed with, we are at a stage where we can work on sustaining what we have in terms of flora and fauna by collaborating with the local muncipal and also engaging real estate firms. One simple example of dissapearing green cover I can give is the Bejai Museum road, hill and surroundings there. I have observed 35% of the hill, which was lush green three years ago, being swallowed by an aparment. I have no doubt in my mind that the rest will disappear in the next 3 to 5 years!

"So I decided, whenever I come down on vacation to Mangaluru, I will ensure that I do my bit by planting saplings or carry awareness drives for people to take notice and ignite a spark in someone's mind. We just need a handful of like-minded people to catalyze change for a better future," he says.

His message to the young generation: "There is a Greek proverb - 'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in'. Our great grandfathers created a great society. We enjoyed the shade and fruits of trees which they planted. And the best example for this were the trees from Valencia to Jeppu. They were so well aligned alongside the road. Somebody thought of us 50 years ago, and now what did we do? These trees need to be re-planted by our younger generations including me. That's my simple message."

Elaborating on the venture, he says, " is a unique portal for documenting trees in urban areas by taking tree census using the scientific approach of geo tagging trees. Each tree in a chosen ward or locality is documented by taking parameters like species, approx height, girth, GPS location, birds and animals observed on that tree and pictures. is the first of its kind project in India implemented in Bengaluru. About 3,000-plus trees have been documented in Bengaluru so far.

"I do not want to take any credit for the work Vijay Nishanth and his team have put on However, I have been working with him to understand and learn the importance of urban forests and volunteering whenever need be, escpecially on weekends for the last one year. Also, I have been part of the 'Youth for Seva' or YFS team. We have collectively documented about 1,000 trees in a span of 4 weekends in a 5-km stretch on Bannerghatta road, Bengaluru," he explains.

Last Word:

The Mangaluru City Corporation was granted the permission to cut these trees with a condition that saplings twice the number of trees cut must be planted and nurtured. We hope this will not go in the same line as construction of footpaths, which, if at all, are laid many years after the roads are concreted.


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Comment on this article

  • Ronaldpinto, Mangalore/Urwa

    Sun, Jan 31 2016

    Crocodile tears for felled trees? moaning over the old cut trees to gain cheap popularity? If each one of these readers plant a sappling either in their property or on Municipality land and look after it we will have enough tress.Road widening is a must fools only can resist.

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vijeta, Mangalore

    Wed, Jan 20 2016

    I so agree... Hats off to you for expressing your views in open... What are we human beings upto...we were very arrogantly upto destroying other animal species(dogs) and now we are murdering trees...please hear out the damage we are doing... smaller roads will not kill but pollution, ozone depletion and sun stroke can... please open your eyes before its too late... If we continue like this we will be the cause for of our mother earth death.. good luck finding another planet to live on

    DisAgree [5] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • JS, Mangalore

    Wed, Jan 20 2016

    Hello Trees can be planted again coz of narrow minded people India is still developing country why dont you all plant tree inside your house compound may be you find difficulty to clean you compound.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dr Erel Diaz, Mangalore-575002

    Wed, Jan 20 2016

    "Smart City doing not so smart things "

    DisAgree [4] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Anand Dsilva, Mangalore

    Wed, Jan 20 2016

    Cutting trees and widening the road from Jeppu to Nandigudda is like building a bridge from Pumpwell circle to Yekkur where there is no river because before you approach Ullal bridge which is narrow, old, rusted and congested you will feel good driving on this bridge before experiencing bad conditions.

    Similarly henceforth drivers from Nandigudda will drive till Jeppu on a broad road and then it is horror.

    DisAgree Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Smitha Dsouza, Bantwal

    Wed, Jan 20 2016

    Dear Max n Jessica, That was quite a knowledge u provided us with. I would also like to fill some of the blank lines of ur knowledge.
    1. By cutting one tree, can u estimate how much oxygen is destroyed?
    2. If one wants development at the cost of Health.. then he is a real fool.
    3. first destroy the nature then bring in rules how to control air pollution.
    3. Do u know the no of birds & insects that call a tree their home?
    4. The one who planted those trees had a reason ( just like a reason u have to earn n feed ur family)
    5. If you think by widening a road, building big buildings,a city becomes developed then i suggest after 15 years wen u come down for vacation bring a mask or oxygen cylinder with u from Huston.
    6. City is getting smart at the cost of Health of Humans n extinction of Nature.

    I pity our next generation... to see a particular tree they may have to visit a museum ....

    DisAgree [1] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vinod, Mangalore

    Wed, Jan 20 2016

    Widening the road is essential as the vehicle density has increased. Agreed.

    But isn't improving the public transport system with more buses, quality/comfort buses like AC buses a better idea than widening the roads. By this we can encourage people to use public transport than their private cars.

    This is difficult but definitely worth a thought to preserve few trees in our Kudla.
    It was a pain to see these trees from Valencia to Jeppu being chopped off.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • sid, mangalore

    Wed, Jan 20 2016

    very sad to see the trees down . sades part in last 15 years no body has taken the effort to grow back the same amount of trees which were cut . Desert countries are becoming greener and we are becoming a desert

    DisAgree [2] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Willy, Mangalore

    Wed, Jan 20 2016

    Indeed very sad for the people of Mangalore. What a beautiful view and what all benefits were there, Yes its making way for more concrete jungle. Tomorrow you will see all the schools, churches, ashrams and graveyards that will surely go, people are digging their own graveyard. God bless all involved in destruction of this earth accordingly.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Peter, Bolkunje/Mangalore

    Wed, Jan 20 2016

    A question to Charles. Does he have a home in Valencia/Jeppu?
    (2) If he has how many days he has walked on those roads after he made Bangalore his residence.
    (3) How many persons he has seen walking on those roads.
    I will come back once he answers the above.

    DisAgree [18] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • RD, mangalore

    Wed, Jan 20 2016


    DisAgree [1] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • bhuvan, kavoor

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    does anybody remember how mr.bharathlal meena had constructed road in lalbagh keeping trees in between many years back?

    DisAgree [1] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vishal, Mangalore

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    If each one of us plants at least one sapling, I am sure our area would regain at least some of the green cover. Let us resolve to grow trees and also encourage those around us to do so.

    DisAgree Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • ramesh, mangaluru

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    A truly pathetic sight of fallen trees.
    Those who talk of sacrifice for development should also look at the problems facing these 'DEVELOPED CITIES' which is partly due to rampant tree cutting.
    Also likely that these same people are newcomers to Mangaluru and have not appreciated the greenery which the city was once proud of.
    Kudos to Mr Charles for his effort.
    If people cannot recognise his efforts, they should at least not mock his intentions

    DisAgree [1] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Anand Tiwari, Bangalore

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    This is really are real hero Charles... keep it up

    DisAgree [1] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse


    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    Anyone knows that these tree felling was stayed for the last 3 years by the local judicial court by Sri.Eric Ozario and his party. No one want to spend anytime to fight legally cheap popularity is not the answer to solve problems just look at the stretch of road how the corporation has helped a ex-mayor to build the building on the road . Trees they do not have political power but congress ex-mayor has got that power so building is imortant not trees. God save the country.

    DisAgree Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mustafa, Mulky

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    Instead of cutting tree if MCC can make one way road and save the trees

    DisAgree [3] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • mohan, mangalore

    Wed, Jan 20 2016


    DisAgree [3] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Max and Jessie Rasquinha, Mangalore, Houston/Dallas, Texas

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    It is encouraging to read and digest various viewpoints on the cutting of the trees in order to pave way either for construction of new buildings or for widening the existing roads in order to cope with growing traffic on account of growing population and growing 'supply and demand'. The growth in the infrastructure obviously demands various changes, and that is obvious and should be acceptable under all prevailing circumstances. It is painful to see young and healthy trees getting disappeared but under various prevailing circumstances, the City officials are justified in allowing cutting of the trees and paving way for progressive thoughts and plans.

    For instance, not too long ago, when NASA decided to donate one of the obsolete Space Shuttles to the New York City, the giant shuttle had to be barged from Florida to New York harbor. To transport the monster Space Shuttle for few miles of road transport to the erection site they had to cut hundreds of well-grown trees at Manhattan in order to tackle the unavoidable problem of moving the shuttle to right place.

    Development of Mangalore with broader roadways is essential in order to cope with growing population and growing demand to cope with increased buildings and road systems. Some of the trees have to be cut, but new trees can be replaced at appropriate spots and these new trees will grow much faster than we think. A newly planned City with proper landscape will appear with new trees alongside the broadened roads or new building complexes.

    We were physically there in Mangalore when some of the nice trees at Old Museum Road were cut in order to make room for the new apartment complex that was being planned. Each and every new development in India requires an open-minded attitude. So long as the officials are conscious of the legitimacy of the proposed plans, we should respect each decision howsoever difficult to accept. That is all part and portion of the process of "development". "Dhanywadh".

    DisAgree [13] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Anti Corrupt, Mangalore, Kuwait

    Wed, Jan 20 2016

    Maxim, what about busy roads like hampankatta, Bendur well? Can you give some advise from Houstom , Texas, America on how to improve these roads. Which road widening is important?

    DisAgree [2] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ravi, Mangaluru

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    Trees can be built again,but chopped trees can't be grown again.

    Traffic can be controlled sure, but road can't be widened further.

    City develops fast, but our co-operation towards cleanliness of City is must.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Roshan Braganza, Mumbai

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    Its a very innovative way to create awareness and spread compassion . True , development is needed but not by destroying something natural which balances natures life . If we ignore it , natural calamities will have its way .

    And development is a pseudo thing here , actually its a complacency and ignorance . Rapid urbanisation and uneven disperse of people over the region Eg :: Empty village areas and populated cities , migration of workers to city because agriculture is not profitable . Its like let's build new church building by destroying old heritage one , just because we have enough money . Not a necessity but a luxury .

    DisAgree [4] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Oliver, Udupi

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    if u need development then these things are common.
    development of a city will never happen if there is no sacrifice.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [40] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ahmed, Mangalore

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    Dear all. This is not something new, before this many trees have also been cut for development. If city has to develop something has to be sacrificed. Reason why all these is happening because we all from kankanady to Valencia majority of land belongs to particular ppl .. where were these ppl when acres of land was deforested for sez in jokatte and for airport in rural places

    DisAgree [6] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

  • Flavian, Mangaluru/Kuwait

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    How Mumbai City/Industries were built? Still expanding and no body makes hue & cry.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

  • R.Nayak, Mangalore

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    People are dumping debris and waste soil on the saplings planted beside the highway.How can we expect our city green.

    DisAgree Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

  • C j baptist, Mumbai

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    This is just the beginning of the end of my beautiful gaon mangulur.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • Shivam, Mangalore

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    Hi, Some lady recently had won an award recently for being against deforestation and also her environmentalist stand and for protecting trees..Saw No protest on Valencia/ Nandigudda Road massacre..

    DisAgree [4] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Roshan DSouza, Mangalore

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    Dear Mr.Charles. why can't we plant trees with the help of public & organizations?

    DisAgree Agree [27] Reply Report Abuse

  • srikanth, Bangalore

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    I feel that the social media has made most of us a bit lazy.. Why?

    everyone raises their voice and take a stand for the betterment but most of them fail to act upon it as everyone is busy with their own carrier path.

    Unfortunately that's the truth!

    DisAgree Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • Kiran, Mangalore

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    Trees , yes they give shelter but when we know that there is a real need for widening then we can not avoid from cutting them down.Here , in this case I see that trees need to be cut to make way for a broad road .Or else , in the near future there will be a increase in traffic accidents/ collisions can take place and cause deaths.
    Let us see the other side..there are number of builders who have built apartments by cutting trees. Most of the builders are educated. How many apartment buildings have trees around them currently ? how many educated people have planted trees around their building? How many builders have contributed greenery to the City by planting saplings. when a builder is putting up a building there are a few greedy people who will jump and book 2 to 3 apartments. Intention is not to stay but to rent them out and make more money .India , should have a new system that needs to be implemented. One man can have only one Apartment/house in his name and Maximum 2 like China.In India , Ministers praise builders and even award them for cutting trees and putting huge building.They in sweet.. say it is development.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    "You can't eat your cake, and have it too" ...

    DisAgree [13] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Flavian, Mangaluru/kuwait

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    Why our city Corporation/Authorities granting license to build high-rise buildings, flats, shopping malls, widening the roads etc. why there is demand for real estate for flats. People should have thought in favor of trees. Mangalore would have remained the same as it was 50 years ago.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [23] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ruben Pinto, Australia

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    A beautiful tribute to those dead trees. At least, the corporation could have trimmed the branches to a tolerable height and uprooted the tree with the root and re-transplanted a nearby location.

    DisAgree [7] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    Ruben, we tried uprooting trees but it does not work.
    Finally we planted these trees in a bird sanctuary and it flopped miserably ...

    DisAgree [4] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Deekshith, Mangalore

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    Thank you Charles..
    its really good awareness..

    DisAgree [4] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse


    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    Read the message clear, feel it and apply on it. From how many years these not only helping humans as well as birds, etc..... we are human the name of development we killed them those helped us when we needed. We need to develop our mind in future when earth become anger we all responsible for it and will pay off for our deeds.
    Thank You,
    Nisarga Premi

    DisAgree [9] Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • mohan, mangalore

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    No one is giving little space to widen the roads. Instead they occupy the the foot-path for stores, selling goods, etc.every day there are accidents, Due to narrow roads,no walkway,no drainage etc
    And they want trees on the middle of roads.
    If they interested on tree's let them give their road side little space to widen the roads and plant tree's

    DisAgree [2] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Af,, Mangaluru

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    let newly constructed footpaths used only for pedestrians ,strictly not to park some ones vehicles,bus or footpath roads badly need of footpath bcos
    school going children ,old age people are struggling to walk between traffic. those who are parking vehicles on foot path must fine large amount other wise all is go in waste.

    DisAgree Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • Flavian, Mangaluru/Kuwait

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    Good awareness indeed.
    Let the City corporation stand up to their commitment as promised.
    The developments (construction, infrastructure, shopping malls etc.) in Mangalore are going on at a rapid pace and the day is not far away to see Kudla as a smart city. But at that point of time we would not know how many coconut trees will remain in Mangalore. However, we are left with no other option/consolation and accept that:
    “Kuch Paane ke liye Kuch Khona Padta Hai”

    DisAgree [4] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • mohan, mangalore

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    there is no condolence for the people dying in accidents due to narrow and improper roads, No walkway.
    some interested in trees on roads

    DisAgree [12] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rithesh, Mangalore

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    Thank you Charles for coming fwd and showing in action what many like-minded feel. I feel sad today to commute office and feel like am in dry and desert land with absence of these trees.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

  • bhuvan, kavoor

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    valencia and mannagudda are the places were all will feel nice because of the shadow and cool breeze..these pictures are just heartbreaking..

    DisAgree [4] Agree [27] Reply Report Abuse

  • gm, mlur

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    If we do not cut the trees for road widening how can we develop our village / city / country. Everywhere changes required, even now a days people cut less tress then olden days because of the use of cooking gas, electric heaters etc. etc. In the same way killing animals (goat/ cow/pig/chicken) for meat is not a bad thing. If only grow trees and animals then how a human live on this earth?

    DisAgree [12] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • Anti Corrupt, Mangalore, Kuwait

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    Why hasn't anyone taken the initiate to widen the Hampankatta roads by sacrificing properties of govt college, rto office, wenlock hospital, town hall property , Nehru maidan property. this commercial stretch is more crucial than Valencia. Nothing commercial can come up in that stretch in Valencia as the properties on both sides of the entire stretch belong to the diocese. why cut trees? is it just because no one owns them or no loss to private property???

    DisAgree [4] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jaimini P.B., Manipal,Sharjah

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    Message is really STRONG...Mr.Charles D'Souza..Well Done Sir..

    DisAgree [8] Agree [29] Reply Report Abuse

  • P.Shirish Kumnar Hosabettu, Muscat, Mangalore

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    Good thought by Mr.Charles, hats up.

    Few years back to save the same trees there was a big protest by a group of local people with the leadership of Mr.Ivan D'Souza, during that time other Political party was ruling in Karnataka.

    Unfortunately the same people who protested & saved the tree, are in power in Karnataka & axed the trees now !!!...

    So we can understand the mentality of the people who protested earlier?

    Why now no one trying to save the same trees.

    Its quite natural during development some sacrifice should be done. But why not earlier. Then why separate rules for separate political parties.??

    DisAgree [3] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Tue, Jan 19 2016

    This is termed 'trade-off' ...

    DisAgree [6] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

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Title: Mangaluru: Pained by sight of chopped trees, Charles D'Souza paints a strong message

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