SUBJECT : The Mangar village, located just 25 km from the Cyber City in the Aravallis, have named this patch Mangar Bani

Mangar village is located just 25 km from the Cyber City in the Aravallis

By Cheena Kapoor

November 6, 2017: Not far from the choking pollution of Delhi and an increasingly urbanised Gurugram exists a village that has managed to preserve a 1,200-acre green patch, owing to their religious faith. Residents of the Mangar village, located just 25 km from the Cyber City in the Aravallis, have named this patch 'Mangar Bani', and have miraculously saved the area from the city builders.

Earlier this year, however, despite the National Green Tribunal's (NGT) order to maintain the state of affairs in the area, over 200 trees were cut in Mangar Bani, considered sacred by the locals. This act not just angered the locals but also highlighted the rapid movement of builders into the heart of the Aravallis. In fact, a five-star hotel , The Lalit Mangar, also exists in the village now.

"In the last one decade, the external movement has increased in our village, which has led to chaos. It was shocking to see people cut trees in the Bani as we have always maintained that it is a sin. Nobody takes anything from here, not even the fallen trees or fruits. The Bani has existed for over 700 years and the temple here has fulfilled many wishes. Those builders have bought land around the villages, but they will not be able to enter our sacred space," said Rajveer, a local.

Soon after the felling of trees, environmentalists, artists, students, and photographers came together to highlight the importance of this 1,200-acre green patch. Campaigns were created on social media and walks were conducted to spread awareness about the issue.

Taking the initiative to the next level, a three-week festival will be held at the India Habitat Centre (IHC) to create awareness about the importance of Aravallis. The festival, titled 'Aravalli Utsav', will showcase works of different photographers, and will have photos of the landscape and wildlife, between October 28 and November 20.

"People have been reading about the ranges in the news, but they still do not know what they are. We have just brought Aravallis to the people. The response, so far, has been tremendous. Now, we feel we should start a minibus from here to Mangar, as everyone suddenly wants to visit. The installation has actually caused a stir. Recently, the Gurugram MCD commissioner visited and suggested that we take the festival and pictures to Gurugram after this," says Aditya Arya, photographer and the mind behind the festival.

Source: DNA India