In 2014, Indian Forest Service Officer Y Satyam shifted to his new home in Sadhna Enclave on Hoshangabad Road in Bhopal.
While his official bungalow in Char Imli was adorned with rows of residential homes and a canopy of trees, he was deeply bothered by how the rest of the area lay barren.
Thus began the IFS officer’s undeterred pursuit to convert the barren 12,000 sq feet land into a lush green park.
The man had previously made headlines in 2013 when his efforts as the Chief Conservator of Forests led the Shahdol Circle of Madhya Pradesh Forest Department to create a new Guinness World Record (GWR). They had managed to plant over 17,08,181 trees in ten hours on a single day.
Y Satyam continues to work as a Principal Chief Forest Conservator with the State Planning Board.
Armed with the technical knowledge and experience of landscaping, planting saplings and growing hedges over the years, the forest officer mobilised families in the area to revamp the space.
The community project kicked off in 2015. The Times of India reports, three years on, the same 12,000 sq ft area has been converted into a lush garden with grass, tall trees, a variety of flowering plants and beautifully shaped hedges.
The beauty of this entire project is also the fact that even the numerous vacant residential plots in the colony, boast of trees that Satyam had planted with the help of hired gardeners.
Satyam told the publication, “I planted three saplings on the edge of each vacant plot, which has (have) now grown into full-fledged trees.”
The existing varieties that grace the visitors include herbs, shrubs, roses, colourful flora, neem, palm rubber trees etc.
The IFS officer credits the success of this project to the families who extended unparalleled support to make his dream come true. He adds how every unit of money spent to convert the barren land into a park was sourced from the society funds. There were several times when Satyam would shell money from his pocket too.
The officer added, “We didn’t involve any other agencies, be it government or private. It was my endeavour.”
One of the central challenges in the project was growing trees in the vacant plots. Since the area was about 500 meters in length, the officer decided to plant Kadam alongside other trees. But in the process, they had to keep an eye out to prevent interlocking of the roots.
(Kadam is an evergreen tropical plant species, native to South and Southeast Asia. The tree grows scented orange flowers in dense globe-shaped clusters which are used in perfumes. It is grown as an ornamental plant and for timber and paper-making.)
Satyam elaborates, “We planted the saplings at a safe distance from one another so as to provide them adequate space to grow. It was a tedious task for the gardeners, and I had to stand there for 3 to 4 hours every day to put the plan into action.”
The success of this citizen-driven initiative, spearheaded by the IFS officer can be summarised in the words of Mahesh Kumar, the secretary of the colony.
He said, “I shifted to this place seven months ago, and I was awestruck with the greenery. It is a dream to live in such a serene area, and I’m happy assisting in the task of maintaining the park.”
In executing this incredible green initiative, IFS Officer Y Satyam literally answered the call of nature. We also congratulate the community who continue to help his initiative.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)
Feature image – (L) Representational image only.Source: Videoblocks.com