While many people, including the government, are eagerly waiting for the rains, a rikshaw driver in Thane has assumed his part of the responsibility and is sowing the seed for a Greener India: ‘Hara Bhara Bharat’ as he calls it.
Purushottam Das Gupta is an auto driver from Thane, Maharashtra, who couldn’t just sit back and watch while the trees on the sides of the roads were cut down and the new ones planted in their place were not well protected.
So he decided to water the existing and the new ones himself, as he went around the city in his rikshaw. Mr Gupta started carrying a 15 ltr water can in his rikshaw everyday to water the trees on the sides of the road. Later, as his solo efforts did not keep him satisfied, he also started to carry a register in the rikshaw and began convincing people to do the same, especially other rikshaw walas he met. He named his mission ‘Sadbhaavana – Hara Bhara Bharat’.
He has more than 50 members listed in the register now, and has started a Whatsapp group where he shares the calendar of tree plantation activities.
Purushottam Das Gupta has his family standing alongside him firmly. This is evident by the fact that he celebrated his anniversary in March, by planting two trees along the banks of Upavan Lake.
He urges ‘Sadbhavana – Hara Bhara Bharat’ members to also celebrate their special days by planting trees.
Environment week from 5th to 11th June 2016 was celebrated by Mr Gupta and his fellow members by planting 50 trees in the city which they had sourced from the Municipal Corporation.
He believes,”If the people who go on morning walks carry as much water as they can with them to water the trees along the way, we can go a long distance in securing a better future for us as well as our children.”
Mr Gupta is an example to everyone. Instead of cribbing and cursing like many of us do, he chose to act. His pace may be slow, but his efforts keep moving just like his rikshaw, and his destination is loud and clear: Hara Bhara Bharat.
If you wish to contact Purushottam Das Gupta, his mobile number is 9619145183. Do hop in to his rikshaw some day to hear more from him about his mission.
– Apurva Oka