SPB Vanam, a project launched by the NGO Siruthuli in Coimbatore, was officially inaugurated on Thursday. Actor Vivekh and Vanitha Mohan, the NGO’s Trustee planted the first tree sapling in the land acquired at Pachapalayam, Coimbatore for this purpose. The urban forest is modeled as a tribute to SP Balasubrahmanyam (SPB) who passed away in September.
Originally launched in October inside the premises of Siruthuli NGO, the project involves planting of 74 saplings in honour of the 74 years the legendary singer was alive. The urban forest spans 1.8 acre area and falls under the Perur Chettipalayam panchayat. All the saplings have been planted along the shape of a ‘treble clef’ which is a musical notation. As per reports, the tree saplings are those that are usually used for making musical instruments, flowering trees and those that are ‘sthala vrikshams’ (Trees inherent to the holy spot) of the places SPB had visited and sung during his lifetime.
The first tree that was planted in Siruthuli premises in October was a Champa tree which is reportedly symbolic to the singer’s birth star. On Thursday, Kinathukadavu MLA Ettimadai A Shanmugam also participated in the event in person, while SPB’s son SP Charan and SPB’s sister SP Shailaja participated through video conferencing.
A statement from Siruthuli said that the Officers Colony Association in the area has offered to maintain the park which will also have a children’s play area, a library and other amenities.
SPB passed away on September 25 after a prolonged hospital stay in Chennai. He was initially taken to the hospital in August after he complained of cold, fever and chest congestion. He then tested positive for coronavirus and was admitted in the hospital for treatment. However, his condition worsened in the next few weeks and he was placed under ventilator support and extra corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) to provide rest to his lungs to recover.