A 37-year-old man in Gurgaon wants to plant a billion trees in the next five years. He has planted and distributed over 47,000 saplings since 2010.
Fondly known as Tree Man, Deepak Gaur began taking interest in trees and greenery while he was recuperating from a six-month-long coma in 2010 following a road accident.
“After my accident, I was bedridden for a long time. During those days, I thought about the purpose of my life. I hadn’t seen sunlight for months and after several requests my father decided to take me out. When I saw trees outside my house, I felt an instant connect. I decided that if I survive I will dedicate my life to planting trees,” he said.
Gaur has started several initiatives in the past for planting trees, including India abroad, where he conducted drives at different embassies in Delhi.
His initiative, Gift a Tree campaign, started in 2012 and received support from local residents. Gaur believes trees are perfect examples of selflessness, tolerance, love and friendship.
He gifts saplings to people and celebrates annual drives to ensure that herbs and vegetables can easily be grown at home in a kitchen garden. “I began my initiative after I met with former president Dr APJ Abdul Kalam in 2012 and gifted him a sapling. I have had two near-death experiences. Now I have dedicated my life to this cause,” Gaur said.