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Trees and Books are an integral part of a Child's Development
Chennai seems to be less concerned about trees when compared to cities such as Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru. In today's world which is characterized by the outgrowth of technological advancements and sense of artificial intelligence, trees have ironically taken the back seat. This was the point of focus at the Launch of "Bhoomi Tales" Book and "Green Shadow" Movement an Android App, held at Loyola College.

Mr. S. Cyril Alexander, Executive Director of MACT welcomed those that had gathered for the event and mentioned that Bhoomi Tales was published as an effort to retain the practice of storytelling and to take traditional stories to the children. Grandparents play a vital role in the development of a child's knowledge and creativity. This has rapidly changed. In this machine dependent world, among the robotic lifestyle, the toys of children has also become robotic which has led to the art of storytelling slowly becoming extinct.

He then proceeded to introduce "caph; epoy; (Green Shadow)" movement which has been initiated as a measure to protect the trees in the cities of Tamil Nadu from the rapid destruction that is seen today. Trees which are the quintessential for the existence of life on Earth are seeing destruction in almost all the parts of the World.  As a measure to save the trees, so that our present and future generation is blessed with the air to breathe oxygen, MACT has initiated caph; epoy; / Green Shadow.

Dr. Dr. P. Mary Vidya Porselvi, Assistant Professor,Department of English, Loyola College is the person who is responsible for translating the Tamil Traditional Books to English and she introduced the "Bhoomi Tales" book to the gathered guests. She mentioned that the book was created so that Children and the Youth alike could use it as a workbook and practice the art of reading and storytelling.

Bhoomi Tales", which is a collection of traditional stories, was launched by Child Rights Consultant ? Mr. R. Vidyasagar. The book has been published by Centre for Social Work and Research (CSWR). He mentioned that the Book is a Good Effort and is suitable for such a day an age where the art of storytelling is dying and not many children are accustomed to this beautiful art. He added that story are import for children and it is important to revive childhood through story telling. He then read few excerpt from the story "Anandham" and he said that such stories help children to know about the environment and the society. 

In addition to the launch of the book, Mary Anne Charity Trust (MACT) initiative on the protection of trees, namely "caph; epoy; (Green Shadow)" was launched by Dr. S. Vincent, Director, LIFE, Loyola College. Green Shadow movement is a platform for community participation and intervention in protecting the trees from being cut and contributing to the increase in tree cover in all districts. Dr. S. Vincent described that environment has to be looked with scientific approach. He stressed that just one aspect of trees must not be looked, trees are a very integral part of the ecosystem and they ensure that oxygen supply is available as they absorb carbon di oxide. And he also spoke about the Himalayan Mountains which determine the climatic conditions of India. He concluded by saying that trees are essential and the Green Shadow movement is a great initiative.

The first step of the initiative from the Green Shadow movement was the development of the "Green Shadow" Android App which was launched by Ms. Sowmya Anbumani, President, Pasumai Thayagam. With sadness in her voice, she mentioned that Chennai has less tree cover of 9.5% when compared to other cities such as Delhi (which has 30%) and Bengaluru & Kolkata (both having 14%).  Specifically she mentioned that unlike Delhi, Bengaluru or Kolkata; Chennai does not have a Tree Authority body. In Delhi, to cut a branch of a tree in a private household, they would have to go through stringent procedures. However, Chennai does not have such rules which have lead to dwindling tree cover. The 9.5% tree cover which is present is mostly present in Colleges and Resource Centre. She stressed that awareness about the protection of trees needs to be start at the grass root level and the Tree Authority Body needs to be implemented in Chennai. She applauded the development of the "Green Shadow" Android App, through which the community can intervene in protecting trees and take action together. She said such initiatives would lead to a better environment for the children.

The launch event ended with the felicitations of the Illustrators involved in the creation of Artwork for the "Bhoomi Tales" book and Navil Technologies who had provided technical support in the development of the "Green Shadow" Android App.

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