This policeman has converted a dilapidated section of police quarters into a children’s park, greened a police training centre and planted over 2500 trees across Kadappa in Andhra Pradesh.
After his duty hours, even if it is as late as 11 pm, a sub-inspector from the Reserve Police of Kadappa can be found planting saplings – that’s Harikrishna Kuragayala for you!
Going beyond the expectations from his uniform, Harikrishna has taken it upon himself to green various police establishments and public places in Kadappa.
This policeman has transformed an abandoned section of his police quarters into a beautiful children’s park. He uses his free time to increase the greenery at a police training centre. The 2500 trees that he has planted and protected in the last decade are dotted all over Kadappa.
When Harikrishna was a trainer at the District Training Centre (DTC) in 2007, the routine running practice would take place around the nearby Putlampalli Lake. Devoid of any shade, training in summer was draining for the young trainees. Harikrishna then decided to alleviate the difficulty faced by the youngsters and became the unofficial green warrior of DTC. He decided to plant trees around the lake. Every day, after the training sessions, he and a few trainees devoted time to clearing the ground to create a running track. They planted tree saplings on the sides of the track. He introduced a routine at DTC among the trainees, encouraging them to devote some time after their daily training sessions towards making the environs of the centre clean and green. According to Harikrishna, the fruits of this effort are showing now: “At DTC, we can now have our classes comfortably in the open, under the shade of the trees that we planted.”
The section of the police quarters at Kadappa where Harikrishna lives was in a dilapidated condition. Harikrishna decided to clear it with the help of his colleagues.
He started by selling the unwanted bricks, wood and other materials lying around in the quarters. With the money fetched from the sale, he and his friends were able to transform the entire place into a beautiful children’s park.
The satisfaction from seeing over 400 people use the park every day motivated him to continue planting trees all over the town.
But how does he fund his tree planting activities? “I hardly needed any money to plant these many trees. I learnt the technique of growing a sapling from the branch of a tree and I taught the same to my constables as well. While returning after occasional outstation duty, I stop alongside the highways to take cuttings from the branches of trees to make my saplings. If I have to buy some saplings, like coconut saplings, I spend from my own money. We collect the fallen leaves in our quarters, use the solid waste generated in the area and make compost for the saplings.”
“The compound of my house has become a small nursery,” he smiles.
He knows some people don’t appreciate his efforts and mock him by saying he plants saplings because he is sleep deprived. But he remains unfazed by the criticism. “The trees I planted are giving shade to people. That is my biggest reward,” concludes this unusual policeman.