Opposition against Aarey Colony's impending deforestation has been ongoing for the past week after the citizens found out about the proposal to fell the trees in the area in order to construct a Mumbai Metro car shed. Perturbed at the thought of losing the rare green patch of Aarey Colony in the urban jungle that Mumbai has become associated with, students of St Xavier's college have now written to the renowned British adventurer, Bear Grylls. They have sought his support to stop the felling of trees in Aarey Colony for Mumbai Metro.
Some students of St Xavier's college joined hands with KAASH Foundation and have written to Bear Grylls, requesting him to back the 'Save Aarey' movement aimed at preventing deforestation in the Aarey Colony.
The St Xavier's students on September 5, in their letter to Bear Grylls, wrote that the "government is arbitrarily, and despite opposition from citizens, out to engage in state-sponsored environmental vandalism"; and he should voice support for those who are opposing it, reported PTI.
“This vandalism needs to be condemned outright,” read the letter. The students of St Xavier's college also urged Bear Grylls to personally come and gauge the situation.
In reply to this, the students received an auto-generated email from his public relations office, saying "due to the volume of enquiries we receive we will only respond where necessary in taking an enquiry further."
Prof Avkash Jadhav, Head of the Department of History at St Xavier's college and trustee of KAASH Foundation who helped students send the letter, said, "Response from Bear Grylls will definitely add further sensitivity to this issue."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently featured in Bear Grylls's popular TV show, "Man vs Wild", in which the two were shown trekking through the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand. The broadcast of the same had ended up breaking worldwide viewership records. The letter from the students of St Xavier's college also referred to this broadcast.
A week ago, the Maharashtra government had decided to allow around 2,700 trees to be cut in Aarey Colony to accommodate a car-shed of Mumbai Metro. The citizens have been voicing their concern ever since.