Bengaluru: Bangalore witnessed the 69th Independence Day celebrations in the most unique way ever commemorated in the country. Collaborating with Mantri Developers, the senior citizens of Bangalore and children from their surrounding communities ushered India’s historic day with a remarkable cycle rally. This was followed by plantation of 69 saplings around the carnival site that the seniors pledged to sustain regularly in a bid to urge fellow Bangaloreans to “go green”. It was a sheer display of the grit and dedication exemplified in a spectacular way by the elder population of Bangalore who proved that age is indeed just a number. Organised at Mantri’s site in Manyata Tech Park (Mantri Lithos and Mantri Energia), the gala event marked a celebration not only of the joyous occasion also but paid tribute to India’s silver generation – some of them recounting experiences of the actual eve of Independence in 1947.
Mr Venkatesh Reddy, 85, said, “I remember vividly the eve of 1947 – Nehru’s world famous Tryst with Destiny speech, the unfurling of the tricolour above Lahore Gate of the Red Fort, the kite flying all across the country. What a proud moment indeed! Hence we thought of showing the country what it meant to achieve independence and what we can do to honour the freedom martyrs.”
Mrs Savitha Iyengar, 70, said, “Much has definitely changed between 1947 and 2017 in Bangalore. What we miss most is the abundance of greenery and hence decided to out the “green signal” to our younger generations on this day. We are happy that Mantri supported us in our efforts.”
Kicking the celebrations at 8am by hoisting the national flag and humming the national anthem, the 69 senior citizens were joined by 69 teenagers in a cycle rally to reinforce the practice of a cleaner and greener environment. Following this, they all joined hands to plant 69 saplings to send out a clear message that India’s future lay in its future generations. Therefore, for a sustainable and greener India, it is important that its children believe and implement sustainable practices. The zeal and enthusiasm displayed by the elder participants exemplified the old adage that “everyone is the age of their heart.”
Mrs Snehal Mantri, Director HR and Marketing, Mantri Developers said, “When some senior members of the Mantri community sought my support for their Independence day celebrations with the idea of sending out much the needed ‘green signa’l to the society at large, I immediately decided to go ahead as it is a social responsibility of every citizen to be environmentally conscious. Within no time and with sheer hard work and passion of the elder citizens, the planned celebrations grabbed more eyeballs and gathered more supporters than ever anticipated! This just proves the idiom that “You are only as old as you feel.”
She further added, “I am encouraged and thrilled by their energy and I request them to “seize the day” and continue to enthral and inspire us by their continuous efforts. I will promote more greener initiatives with them through our CSR Wing, Mantri SEVA (Support and Encouraging Voluntary Action) that is already undertaking several green initiatives for civic development.”
Also noteworthy was the post event, impromptu initiative that everybody partook of. First, all shopkeepers around the area were briefed on various ways to reduce the use of paper, polythene covers and disposable plastics, and help in maintaining cleaner surroundings. Second, as they pledged the review the saplings every week, they garnered support from nearby residents to sustain the same! Witnessing Bangalore’s silver generation unite with its future ones for such an imminent cause on a India’s landmark day will be etched in Bengaluru’s memory as an evergreen experience.