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Environment

Oct 08, 2003
Forests envelop a steel town

Sreekanth Nemani is a young software engineer in Utah, USA. He grew up in a steel town in Vishakapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. He has spent 17 years there and is nostalgic for the spaces he roamed as a child and a boy. C’mon, longing for an industrial township in India, while in God-blessed America? Okay, his father still works for Vizag Steel, but Nemani yearns in fact for the woods around the steel plant.

Suspend for now, a few entrenched myths about India. Myths like, ‘public sector is driven by unimaginative babus’; ‘steel plants are inevitably grim and grimy’; ‘afforestation programmes are token gestures by the public relations department’.

“I have always liked that place because of all the trees,” he says. “I used to take my bicycle and ride through the woods for adventure as a kid, and have gone for picnics often with my friends. You wont find too many people in those nicely deserted spaces. I think it is a story that needs to be widely known.”

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