Every Sunday morning, when streets are quiet and birds sing, a team of volunteers in the the Karelibaug area of Vadodara, India set out eager to remove tree guards engulfing the trees around the city. They are part of the 'Free the Tree' campaign initiated by Lovanyasen Singh, a 47-year-old who works as a Senior Technical Consultant at Rangam Consultants. Using metal cutters, working hands, and a lot of heart, the volunteers slowly free each tree from the confines of its discolored, rusty tree guards that are common sight in the city. “It is painful to see a tree caged in the tree guard and struggling to grow freely. Captivity is not good for anyone," said Singh. "Some tree guards have become part of the trees and some have crooked the trees, and few have become dustbins." The team of volunteers, consisting of young students, housewives, retired employees, and engineers, spend two hours every weekend working with joy. In just the past year, more than 1800 trees were freed from old guards that were hindering their growth.

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