“T CHIEF SEATTLE'S LETTER

Issue XXXIV
MAY 2011
CHIEF SEATTLE'S LETTER
“The
President in Washington sends word that he
wishes to buy our land. But how can you buy or sell the sky
and the land? The idea is strange to us. If we do not own the
freshness of the air and the sparkle of the water, how can you
buy them?
Every part of the earth is sacred to my people. Every shining
pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods,
every meadow, every humming insect. All are holy in the memory
and experience of my people.
We know the sap which courses through the trees as we
know the blood that courses through our veins. We are part of the
earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters. The
bear, the deer, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky
crests, the dew in the meadow, the body heat of the pony, and
man all belong to the same family.
(Chief Seattle, Chief of the Suquamish
Indians allegedly wrote this letter to the
American Government in the 1800's.
Although he is said to have made this
speech in his native tongue, Lushootseed,
which was much later translated into
English by Dr. Henry A. Smith, and
although there is a controversy on its
authenticity, this letter is a bitter sweet
plea to the powerful rulers of the 19th
century America. More relevant in these
times where mankind has made enormous
strides in technological advancement but
has failed to curb the plundering of our
dear planet, the words of this letter are a
stark and strong reminder to us to
preserve our treasures).
The shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water, but the blood of our
ancestors. If we sell you our land, you must remember that it is sacred. Each glossy reflection in the clear
waters of the lakes tells of events and memories in the life of my people. The water's murmur is the voice
of my father's father.
The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst. They carry our canoes and feed our children. So you
must give the rivers the kindness that you would give any brother.
If we sell you our land, remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with all
the life that it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also received his last sigh. The
wind also gives our children the spirit of life. So if we sell our land, you must keep it apart and sacred, as a
place where man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow flowers.
Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What
befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth.
This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected
like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he
does to the web, he does to himself.
One thing we know: our God is also your God. The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is
to heap contempt on its creator.
Your destiny is a mystery to us. What will happen when the buffalo are all slaughtered? The wild
horses tamed? What will happen when the secret corners of the forest are heavy with the scent of many
men and the view of the ripe hills is blotted with talking wires? Where will the thicket be? Gone! Where will
the eagle be? Gone! And what is to say goodbye to the swift pony and then hunt? The end of living and the
beginning of survival.
When the last red man has vanished with this wilderness, and his memory is only the shadow of a
cloud moving across the prairie, will these shores and forests still be here? Will there be any of the spirit of
Continued in Page 8 . . .
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WATER MANAGEMENT
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Madhwarayapuram water shed development project
Construction of 6 gabion structures has been completed in the Capacity Building Phase (CBP) of
Madhwarayapuram Watershed Development Project. The construction of 6 gully plugs has been
completed and another 4 are in progress. On 02nd March 2011, Madhwarayapuram village watershed
committee meeting was held in which Mr V Suresh (DGM, NABARD) participated after personally
inspecting the structures constructed. The remaining components in CBP namely field bunding, planting
of fruit bearing trees in farmers' land etc will be decided in the next committee meeting.
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RWHS
As per the request of ACC Limited authorities, a detailed technical report with cost estimates for
about Rs. 3.5 lakhs to implement 5 nos of RWHS within the ACC factory premises has been submitted. A
meeting took place with the authorities for implementing the suggested RWHSs before the onset of South
West monsoon 2011.
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Debris dumping on tanks
Since inception, Siruthuli has put in a lot of efforts to desilt and rejuvenate the tanks in the city that
form part of the Noyyal River System. But it was truly disheartening to note the degradation that has
befallen not only the tanks, but also the areas along the tank bunds. Building debris has been mercilessly
dumped on the bunds of tanks. During the past one year, Siruthuli has cleared the debris twice incurring
huge expenditure. But to our chagrin, the dumping continues unabatedly. Furthermore, the dumped
debris is being pushed into the tanks and is being levelled to create parking space. This has led to
reduction of the water spread area which has already shrunk due to unauthorized encroachments.
Recently, a tempo van that was trying to dump hotel waste was caught red-handed and was handed over
to the Police, by a few environmentalists.
To control further dumping of debris along all the tanks, letters were sent to the City Police
Commissioner and the Corporation Commissioner to take strong action against culprits. In this regard, a
joint inspection was done on the bunds of Valankulam by our Managing Trustee Smt Vanitha Mohan and
the City Police Commissioner Dr C Sylendra Babu IPS on 24th March 2011. The CoP has assured to deploy
police patrolling along the tank bunds, throughout day and night and also proposed to set up a police
outpost on the bypass road of Valankulam. In addition to this he will instruct the concerned police station
to book a case against the complaints on the debris dumpers.
2
He who breathes deepest lives most.
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning
AFFORESTATION
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Pasum Pulari
“5000 saplings have been received from Nilgiri Biosphere Nature Park, Anaikkatti all of which are
around 1.5 to 2ft height. We received these saplings for Pasum Pulari. Apart from this, another 2500
saplings have been sourced from the nursery at Central Prison, Coimbatore.
“Event of the month” – March
A meeting was convened at the Codissia Trade Fair
Complex on 11th March 2011. This witnessed the gracious
presence of Dr Rajendra K Pachauri (Chief,
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Director
General, TERI & Head, Yale Energy and Climate Institute).
He planted a sapling in the premises and addressed
members of industrial sector, who had gathered to support
the new green endeavor of Siruthuli. He appreciated the
excellent work that is being done by Siruthuli, stating that
Siruthuli is a fine example of the public taking key role in
the betterment of natural resources. He lifted the morale
of all present there by stating that the successful presence
of an NGO like Siruthuli itself sets a road to a greener
tomorrow, since it opens its opportunities for each of the
citizens to be the trustees of this only planet. He also
encouraged the industrial units to make best use of the
vacant land available with each one of them so that we can
restore the essential green cover required to support the
eco-system of the city. The meeting was jointly organized
by Codissia, SIMA, SIEMA, CII, ICCIC and TACT.
“Event of the month” – April
Planting activity was held at the Eru Company (Compost
Yard), Kaundampalayam. Coimbatore Corporation has
given a facelift to the compost yard by making a sanitary
landfill using the accumulated unsegregated waste
dumped over years in the 34 acres of Eru Company. The
landfill site totally occupied about 3 acres only. The balance
area is protected with compound wall, except a minor
portion on the North Eastern side. As per the directions of
Shri Anshul Mishra IAS, Commissioner, Coimbatore
Corporation, the authorities took pits for planting 110 nos
of saplings on one row, covering 50% of the compound
wall. The planting programme took place on 08.04.2011
and Shri Anshul Mishra kicked off the activity by planting a
Neermathi sapling. Smt Vanitha Mohan, Shri Kanaklal Abhaichand, Shri R Raveendran, Shri
Saravanakumar (Asst Executive Engineer), Shri Vijayakumar (Asst Engineer, Agri Engineering), Apex
members & Siruthuli staff took part in the event. Corporation has made arrangements for watering the
planted saplings on every alternative days. While discussing, the Commissioner has suggested
developing that area as a memorial park, allowing the public to plant sapling on important occasions. He
also agreed to allot 1 or 2 acres for planting temple trees.
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profundity.
Kindness in giving creates love.
- Laozi (Lao Tzu, Lao Tse)
3
UN recognition for Siruthuli
Siruthuli has been
chosen as one among the best
three NGOs in the world, for
the BEST WATER PRACTICES
by Water for Life Secretariat of
The United Nations. All the 39
application received for the
“ B e s t Wa t e r P r a c t i c e s ”
category was scrutinized by a
Technical Advisory Committee
(TAC) and was forwarded to a
panel of eminent Juries.
Winners were announced at a
ceremony that had taken place in Zaragoza, Spain and we will be receiving a recognition, including a
certificate and a plaque in addition to the invitation to participate in the event 'Water in the Green
Economy in Practice: Towards Rio+20”, which will take place in Zaragoza from 3 to 4 October 2011.
KARAM MERGES INTO THE LITTLE DROP . . . . .
The 2004 Tsunami attack in the Bay of Bengal as well
as the Indian Ocean region coupled with tremors and
earthquakes affected several countries. Tamilnadu bore the
brunt of the terrible tidal wave and the Districts of
Cuddalore, Nagapattinam and Kanyakumari were declared
as the most affected in peninsular India. The then
Government rose to the occasion and the rehabilitation
activities were spontaneous and in response to this, the
citizens of Coimbatore joined together under one umbrella and decided to provide quality
rehabilitation under the banner KARAM - Kovai Aid for Rehabilitation and Motivation headed by
Shri.L.G.Varadaraj. Shri G.K.Sundaram, Dr.N.Mahalingam, Shri.L.G.Varadaraj, Dr.K.Damodarasamy
Naidu, Shri.C.G.Venkataraman, Shri.S.V.Balasubramaniam, Shri.Mahaveer Jain, convened a meeting
on the 5th of January 2005 to elicit public participation. The Corporate Houses of Coimbatore have
always got together for a common cause and therefore it was not surprising that they came together
once again to provide relief to the needy. The District Collector gave his consent and passed a GO
allotting the rehabilitation of Kameshwaram to KARAM of Coimbatore. KARAM adopted the village
Kameshwaram, near Velankanni, in Nagapattinam district and executed commendable rehabilitation
measures in record time. The Trust had
constructed houses to the survivors of the
tsunami and donated fishing boats to them,
thus re-establishing their livelihood. The Trust
members of KARAM, met on 23rd March 2011
and decided that since the purpose of
establishing the Trust has been achieved, it
would be better to join hands with the activities
of Siruthuli. Hence it was decided to merge
KARAM with Siruthuli and accordingly a
resolution was passed and the formalities have
been completed - KARAM has now become one
with Siruthuli.
4
My satisfaction comes from my commitment to advancing a better world.
- Faye Wattleton
Nurture Nature Summer Camp 2011
S
iruthuli's fifth annual “Nurture Nature Summer Camp” was held from 18th to 23rd April 2011. More
than 100 students from over 20 schools took part in this week-long camp. As in previous years, we
commenced the camp in the gracious presence of Pachai Nayagi which stands witness to all our
endeavors.
Day 1 – “Seed to Sapling”
Siruthuli Trustees Shri Kanaklal Abhaichand and
Smt Vanitha Mohan along with the team of apex members
gathered to cheer the team of students, who had come
forward to spend time with Mother Nature, in spite of
their holidays and the hot summer. Sri Kanaklal
Abhaichand, Smt Vanitha Mohan, Shri R Raveendran,
Shri A P Suresh and Shri CGS Manion addressed the
students and welcomed them to the team of naturelovers. Shri Kanaklal Abhaichand insisted on the need to
open their inner eye and to observe Mother Nature, as
this whole week they are going to live in close proximity
to Her. Smt Vanitha Mohan gave an introduction to
Pasum Pulari and said that this public movement can
attain its goal only with the generous support of each one
of us, the Coimbatoreans. Shri CGS Manion explained to
them the modalities of the summer camp. After the briefing,
the team headed to Siruthuli Tree Park where they were
divided into 4 groups and took part in activities namely preparation of
Siruthu
mother bed, shifting, watering and interactive session with Mr
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Manion and Mr Chellamuthu. The students thus got a hands-on
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- S V Swarna Praba,
Vivekalaya Matriculation School
Day 2 – “History of Trees”
Day 2 of the Summer Camp had around 15 new entries as
participants, following the extensive coverage that appeared in
the local newspapers. Shri A P Suresh conversed with them on
the various varieties of birds and animals that are endemic to
our region and advocated the need to concentrate on the real
life around rather than on television programs. At GASS
Museum, the students watched the entire gallery
showcasing the history of life on earth, wide-eyed. Their
excitement was very obvious, but through out the day,
they showed discipline and obedience. After seeing the
collectibles they gathered outside the museum, to listen to
the expert, simple, eloquent and informative speech by Mr
Chandrasekhar, the Curator of the GASS Museum. Shri
Ramesh Babu, the co-ordinator for the day, thanked him for
helping the team see the world in a new perspective.
I must admit that I personally measure success in terms of the contributions an individual
- Margaret Mead
makes to her or his fellow human beings.
5
Day 3 – “Nature Watch”
Day 3 of Siruthuli Summer Camp had a very
special guest to start with – Shri Saamiyappan,
popularly known as Sattayaniyaa Saamiyappan. He,
clad in a white dhothi, had come to meet our
campers with a chest containing the magic world of
our Mother Nature. In his colloquial homely tone, he
spoke to them about the importance of air, as we
cannot live even a few seconds without this element
of Mother Nature. He rightly said that, if we don't
ensure quality air around us through afforestation, we
will be the sufferers. Smt Vanitha Mohan gave a crisp,
to-the-point speech on afforestation and the great
opportunity that they have right in front of them, Pasum
Pulari,. This effectively set the mood of the camp. Shri
Saamiyappan interacted with the students through out the journey to
Anaikkatti and the students literally clustered around him in the bus, in want of
more knowledge about Mother Nature. At Nilgiri Biosphere Nature Park, Shri Manion and Shri Sabapathy
told them a brief history of NBNP, and the whole team went up the hills for trekking where they got to see a
handful of rare sights like a tribal resting system, footprints & droppings of wild animals etc. This really
excited them. Back at NBNP, their favorite games and fun sessions ensured a gala time. After lunch, the
team went to see the garden of exotic and endemic endangered plant species and planted a few trees too.
Ms Shriranjani, a nature enthusiast and a full time camp volunteer, shared her view that a little care can
bring out a big difference.
I have clearly understood what I have to do to save the
environment and now I am very eager to spread the message to all
and I will act like a soldier in protecting our Mother Earth.
- R Kaarthikeyan, Perks Matric HSS
Day 4 – “The Green Wealth”
Day 4 of the Siruthuli Summer Camp 2011 was at
G.V.Residency, Peelamedu where they learned how
residential communities can make a difference to city life
through planned growth of trees that will help restore
harmony between man and Nature. As the students had a
hands-on experience on the various processes involved in
the raising of a sapling on Day 1 of the Camp itself, the
program at G.V. Residency was fashioned to give them an
insight into the care taken while planting a sapling. At G.V, the
team assembled inside the Vinayagarkoil for presentation and
interaction. Shri R Raveendran welcomed the team and Shri K
Mohanraj of 'Save Coimbatore's Wetlands' gave a
presentation explaining the wetlands, its classifications,
importance and need to protect them. It was an eye-opener for them
as he discussed about the various species of birds, animals and insects
that can be found in their own neighborhood, as the wetlands attract many of
them. A presentation on Siruthuli's current event “Pasum Pulari was made. The
presentation covered the activities carried out so far under “Pasum Pulari” and shed
light on its goals and systematic plans. Shri Bharathidasan and Shri Manickam of ARULAGAM, an NGO
explained to the students the various varieties of seeds and gave them a few tips to identify them. They also
told them the preservation techniques of various seeds and the care to be taken while planting saplings. Shri
I.K. Govindan IPS (Retd, Former Director General of Police, Tamil Nadu & National Security Advisor, the
Republic of Mauritius, also came to the venue to spend some time with the children. The students went
6
If you believe that you can damage, then believe that you can fix.
- Rebbe Nachman of Breslov
ahead to the field to practice what they learned through experts there. While Shri Bharathidasan guided a
team to collect seeds, the other teams were steered by Shri Raveendran and team to plant saplings in the 7
acres land. All the schools planted a sapling each and a few students got so motivated and planted saplings
individually too. RAAC has sponsored tender coconuts for the students to beat the sizzling summer. As they
were leaving the place, the newly planted saplings were left behind bobbing their heads in the gentle breeze,
waiting to receive the children as they pass by that way once again.
- Subikshadeepa Natarajan
GRD Matric HSS
Day 5 – “Eco Trek”
A wonderful, practical and memorable camp.
Day 5 of the Summer Camp was
It gave me a message to carry through out the
world “SAVE NATURE” as we are the green
a much awaited one which dawned off
warriors and I am the part of this team.
to witness the whole city being cleansed
neatly by Mother Nature after the previous
day's showers. Shri C R Jayaprakash addressed them and
talked about the tigers and lions, in his student-savvy style. The team started off at 08.30AM and the
picture perfect mountains clad in white cloud caps enthused them till they reached the Nandangarai
Checkdam, constructed by Siruthuli. As the team assembled near Anayaathammankoil, the weather
was at its best with cool breeze and mild sunlight spread all over. Shri K Kalidas, Osai addressed them
on the importance of forests and the brutality we inflict upon our natural resources. His speech was
poignant and it reached them immediately. He also admired the excellent work done by the Forest
Department in protecting the forest area from being covered with plastic. The farmers of
Madhvarayapuram area had sponsored hot vada and tea for all the camp members and they enjoyed it
to the very bit. The whole bunch of students, teachers and others started climbing the hills and the first
hurdle they had was a steep mass of rock, but with the help of tribals, volunteers, apex members and
staff, all the 150 of them managed to reach the top. Throughout the 1 and a half kilometer trek, Prof
Kandhasamy addressed the students twice and told them the need to preserve nature, the link
between nature and our traditional systems and celebration and that now its in our hands to protect
this shrinking precious resource. The students were amazed to see the aerial view of Nandangarai
Checkdam. The climb down was accompanied by a cool breeze. As the team reached
Anayathammankoil, they had their much awaited Guest for the Day – Dr C Sylendra Babu IPS,
Commissioner of Police, Coimbatore. The little team was in cloud nine to meet their hero. He
addressed him saying, “In Japan, people try to perserve the ecosystem especially the
rivers as it is, whereas here in India, we eye a river as a source for utility alone”. The
team really got motivated when he said that, if a positive change can be brought,
then its possible only through these little children. He joined the students
for the sumptuous lunch and sweets and it was really heartening to see
the students gathering around him with their
questions. The students and staff
felt honored to receive their
certificate of participation and
mementos from him. We had the
laudable presence of our Trustees
Shri Kanaklal Abhaichand and Smt
Vanitha Mohan, and a whole bunch of
Apex members – Ms Anu Valenteena , Ms
Sujini Balu, Mr P S Kashi, Mr A P Suresh, Mr
CGS Manion, Mr S J Balakrishnan, Mr
Sureshkumar, Mr Raveendran, Mr Jawahar, Mr
Tharun Shah and Mr Chellamuthu. Mr Krishna
from Radio Mirchi interacted with the students for
live telecast which added spice to the trek. And as
the team headed back to the city, the first news we
received was that Nandangarai area was receiving
heavy downpours.
Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.
- Albert Einstein
7
Day 6 – Eco Day
Day 6 of Siruthuli Summer Camp involved a visit to
Salim Ali Center for Ornithology & Bird History (SACON),
Anaikkatty. Dr Pramod, Education Officer, SACON
greeted the campers and invited them to SACON. They
were divided into two groups – one went for trekking
and bird watching, while the other attended the expert
lecture by Dr Pramod on the commonly found birds in our
neighborhood. The trekk was guided by Mr Joseph, a
resource person from SACON and as they started their
mini-trek, he asked the team to note down the physical
particularities of birds and butterflies they observe
as they go up. Later, he helped them identify the
bird/butterfly they saw. Dr Pramod made a
powerpoint presentation which showed
photographs of common birds they might have
seen, but failed to identify like weaver bird, sparrow,
mynah, eagle etc. Post lunch, Shri A P Suresh talked to the students about the various small steps that
can be adopted by them at individual levels to bring out a big difference.
This summer camp has been successful with the generous support and sponsorship of Sree
Annapoornna Sree Gowrishanker Group of Hotels Pvt Ltd., Suvai Sweets, Jagannath Textiles,
Lakshmigriha Enterprises, T V & Bros, Pricol Ltd, Elgi Matriculation HSS & Sree Ramakrishna MHSS.
The seeds of green being have been sowed. Lets water it, manure it and give enough light so that our
tomorrow will be bright and rich.
OUTREACH PROGRAMMES
Continued from Page 1 . . .
my people left?
We love this earth as a newborn
loves its mother's heartbeat. So, if we
sell you our land, love it as we have
loved it. Care for it, as we have cared for
it. Hold in your mind the memory of the
land as it is when you receive it.
Preserve the land for all children, and
love it, as God loves us.
As we are part of the land, you too
are part of the land. This earth is
precious to us. It is also precious to you.
One thing we know - there is
only one God. No man, be he Red
man or White man, can be apart. We
ARE all brothers after all.”
o
On March 04th, 2011, Siruthuli apex member Shri A P
Suresh made a presentation to the students of CMS
College, Chinnavedampatti. Around 100 students
attended the talk. This was followed by a movie
review on environment
nd
o
On March 22 , 2011, Smt Vanitha Mohan
addressed the staff and their family of TVS
Groups, Mettupalayam Road as a part of
their Founder's Day celebration. The
audience was given a glimpse of the
activities of Siruthuli. The management
along with the staff have pledged their
support towards Pasum Pulari and have
promised to take the responsibility of 100
trees.
Vanitha Mohan
Rajesh Govindarajulu
Geetha Sridhar
K. Mylswami
G. Sampath
C. K. Haritha
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