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This retired government official has planted 16,000 trees!2 min read

December 9, 2020 2 min read

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This retired government official has planted 16,000 trees!2 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes

What do you need to protect the environment? Nothing but will, patience, and hard work, says Devidas Chadhari, a retired government official from the state of Maharashtra. He has planted 16,000 trees and made an otherwise dry and barren stretch, into a lush green area.

Devidas in front of the area he changed

Here’s how he got started. Ever since his college days, Devidas would regularly cross the stretch between Kundalgaon village and Manmad town. He found this patch to be especially dry and barren looking. This region, he says, receives very little rain, which is when he decided to take matters in his own hands and make the land greener. This would also help the people in the area, as water scarcity has always been an issue there. 

After getting the necessary permissions to go about his tree-planting drive, Devidas decided to turn his mission into a campaign. Together with a few colleagues, he managed to collect Rs 56,000 to plant 10,000 trees. In the years to follow, he went on to plant more saplings. With the scarcity in the area, watering the saplings every day was a task, but Devidas managed to do this too. 

Before and After: The left side is the land before Devidas stepped in, and on the right, is the same patch, but tree-covered and lush.

Inspired by him, local farmers, social groups and even officers from the forest department got involved. Villagers built natural check dams to let rainwater flow to these trees, and the forest department handed over more saplings for the cause.

The best part? Devidas isn’t after awards or fame. He was quoted as saying, “I have a firm belief. No one should plant trees for posting them on social media or for the sake of popularity. I have been strict about it since the first day.” Now that’s what makes a true hero!

Owliver’s Challenge!

How can you improve the environment around your home and inspire others to do so too? It can be as simple as making sure there is no littering, that garbage is separated into dry and waste bins, or even planting some flowers to make the area look more attractive. What are some ideas you can come up? Let us know in the comments below!

Source and pictures: The Better India