Telangana’s Suryapet district is a small village with 70 acres of forest land, bursting with the natural ecosystem and fruit-bearing trees.

The forest with various species of wildlife is not fenced and is guarded by a 68-year-old — Dusharla Satyanarayana.

Hailing from a family of landlords/land accountants in the village, his father received 70 acres of the ancestral land, which Dusharla is now looking after.

He has spent his entire childhood growing and nurturing the forest on this land.

“The area was once a grazing land, where I used to spread tamarind and seeds of other plants. It was due to my passion and love for nature from an early age that I wanted to have trees around me,” he says.

He even dug a canal to harvest rainwater and use it to irrigate the plants and trees. He built ponds where lotus, fish, frogs and tortoises live in abundance.

Today, the land has over 10 lakh trees per acre — ranging from guava, Indian jujube, cluster fig, jamun (purple plum), guava, carandas plum, mango, and bamboo trees.

Many landowners and real estate developers have tried to buy the land, but Dusharla insists to protect the forest till he lives.