Saving Shaikh Taqi’s Legacy

baba sheikh

It would not be wrong to say that when the PM Narendra Modi speaks, the nation listens. One of the arguments over time however has been that Mann Ki Baat is a concept where the PM speaks but no other party has chance to speak or connect. This time however something different happened.

Allahabad is known as Sangam city. A city that hosts the Kumbh Mela is of paramount importance for Hindus. Boasting of the Akshay Vat, the city also has an ancient tree which interestingly unites Hindus and Muslims. The story goes a Sufi saint born in 1320 placed datoon upside down in the spot. Miraculously the twig grew to become the most revered tree. The Sufi saint Saiyid – Sadar – ul Haq Taqi ud din Mohammad Abdul Akbar popular as Baba Shaikh Taqi died in 1384, however his legend grew stronger by the day. The tree now popular as Baba Shaikh ped or Hathi ka Pawn now started being worshipped by Hindus and Muslims alike.

A thousand year old tree, it has suffered immense damage over time. Looks perfectly fine, but it has become hollow from inside. Forces of nature and adding to that soil erosion have exposed its roots which are leading to it dying a natural death.

The mud, which could have held the strong roots are also losing ground as many people dug and take away the mud for it is considered auspicious.

The matter was recently raised by a person from Mahoba with the PM in his Mann ki Baat talk show. The PM without wasting time has taken up the matter immediately.

The PMO has instructed the Botanical survey of India to send the status report of this tree which is worshipped by both Hindus and Muslims alike. Shaik Taqi’s Maazar  is located beside the tree

Bark and flower of the tree is used for stomach related troubles. People have scratched the roots and the trunk at several places thereby damaging the tree.

The tree’s botanical name being ‘adansonia digitata’, is also found in Barabanki and Mohaba in UP. Experts recommend an immediate anti-fungal and anti-termite treatment and a platform be constructed around it.

The news of the immediate intervention comes at a time when when people in UP have been attempting to plant 50 million trees in a day hoping to shatter the world record.

Officials in the state reportedly distributed millions of saplings to help India’s efforts to increase its forest cover, and to get into Guinness World Records for the most trees planted in a day. The current record is 847,275, set in Pakistan in 2013.

Among those who were part of the unique initiative were 800,000 people, including students, lawmakers, government officials, housewives and volunteers from nonprofit organizations.

The Centre is encouraging all 29 states to start tree-planting drives to increase the country’s forest cover. The government has designated more than $6.2 billion for tree-planting across the country. The aim is to push India’s forest cover to 95 million hectares (235 million acres) by 2030.


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