Wonder! How many of us desire to go back to the times when the earth has a wide spectrum of floras, unlike the sprawling urban jungles of today. The fresh air that was so soothing instead of polluted air we breathe in now and the relaxing chirp of birds instead of the noise from honking vehicles clogged in hours of traffic jam.
Our environment is going through the tough times of climatic peril, which is the product of our harsh attitude towards it. No wonder, “as you sow, so you reap” is the ground rule of the environment; many environmentalists are toiling to reverse the lost glory of the earth silently in the remote corners of the world. One of these environment lovers is Prafulla Kumar Tripathy, who is fondly called “Tree Sir” by the natives of Puri.
Nature is signified as our first mother in our religious scriptures and all its components are metaphoric to God. “Man had always lived with nature. To live with nature is to live God indirectly because nature reflects God in a thousand and one ways”, quoted the divine speaker Osho, explaining the relation between man and nature. For Tree sir to love nature, is analogous to revere god. Thus, his devotion to both is the same. After his retirement as a teacher, Prafulla sir devoted his full time to saving and nourishing trees.
With the day’s first light, Tree sir head starts on his bicycle to carry out his plantation drive with a bagful of saplings, seeds and spade. He examines the condition of the plants he has sown, waters them, and uses his bio manures for keeping plants healthy. Wherever he sees a barren patch, he takes out seeds from his bag and sows them there. Trees are the comrade of mortals on earth and one of the prime regulators of the ecosystem. Every germinating sapling induces immense happiness within him and brings him more closely to nature. His day ends with contributing handmade tulasi and flower mala, at the Lord Jagannath temple.
He lives a simple life but the serene thought for the well-being of all and works contributing to the preservation of nature makes his simple life extraordinary. Though he has been felicitated with numerous awards and appreciations for his selfless activity, the real ecstasy he derives from the fostering nature that surrounds him. His love and affection have transformed hectares of wasteland into a green canopy.
Man should remember that our existence is directly steadfast on the environment. So far, the unlimited human voracity and superiority complex has downed the earth to the thresholds of annihilation. But, the small efforts towards afforestation can bring a vast makeover to the present ecological condition. To Prafulla, taking care of trees is not a responsibility rather worship for nature that stimulates satisfaction, peace and content in him. His selfless love for nature has inspired all of us and a sense of pride for him.