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TBI Blogs: How One Man Converted His Drought-Prone Hometown in Rajasthan Into a Green Oasis

Chain Singh has spent the last 22 years of his life planting and nurturing plants in his hometown of Delwara, Rajasthan. His efforts have helped change the landscape of the village from a dust-ridden environment prone to acute droughts, to a green oasis.

Chain Singh was born in Delwara, Rajasthan. Singh vividly remembers the severe drought that swept through the region in his childhood. Those were the days of dust-ridden climes and severely rationed drinking water: “It was an extremely severe drought; people were left yearning for even one glass of water,” he says.

The experience made him curious about what caused droughts and he remembers learning about how more trees resulted in more precipitation, bringing with them more rainfall and a possible solution to the water crisis his village faced.

Chain Singh

When he grew up, Singh began driving a vehicle for hire, and all thoughts of trees and climate change took a backseat. Fate intervened when he met with an accident that left him with a permanent disability; one that kept him from pursuing his job.

Unemployed and headed towards penury, Singh decided to divert his attention by contributing to society. He explored the idea of planting saplings in his village.

“As a child, my father used to grow trees. He would give me incentives to water these plants and tell me ‘One day, these plants are going to bear you fruits and flower’,” Singh told Shambhu, the correspondent from Video Volunteers, who first reported this story.

Singh began by planting batwa (a kind of local spinach) and other edible plants, using small garhas (earthenware pots). He then enlisted the help of others to start nurturing the saplings, which today, have grown to sturdy trees of peepul, mehendi and more.

Today, it is not uncommon to see people gathering under the shade of the towering trees Singh has planted. Bus stops and small shops have also found a place here.

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Singh’s efforts towards a greener tomorrow won him the support of other people in the area, who soon stepped forward to help him.

Today, all are reaping the benefits of the abundance of plants, trees and greenery available for miles around. All thanks to the love and passion for a rich environment, of one man.

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