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Green heroes:Jharkhand's tree saviour

india Updated: Jun 05, 2013 00:39 IST
B Vijay Murty
B Vijay Murty
Hindustan Times
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Kaushal Kishore Jaiswal, 57

Infamous for drought, famine, hunger deaths and left wing extremism, if there’s anything good about Jharkhand’s Palamu district, it’s the illustrious son of this soil -- Kaushal Kishore Jaiswal and his green campaign called Paryawaran Dharma (Environment Religion) and Ban Rakhi movement he is propagating since the last four decades.

He has so far distributed around 18 lakh plants free of cost, raising funds from his own resources and along with his green soldiers, he has planted more than 33 lakh trees on vast swathes of fallow land converting the dry zone of Palamu into a lush green landscape.

“The third world war would be for water. The only way to avert the war is by planting trees, constructing trenches and bunds for soil and moisture conservation, which in turn will help to increase the ground water,” says Jaiswal on what compelled him to take on this crusade.

In 1976 he initiated Paryawaran Dharma and made Ban Rakhi movement a part of it to save trees. Tying a Ban Rakhi was a way to get people to consciously guard trees against felling. “The idea worked as nobody would allow their ‘brother’ to die. It affected 95 % survival of the planting saplings in Palamu,” he said.

Jaiswal has won praise from several reputed environmentalists like Chipko Movement leader Sunder Lal Bahuguna and Dr George A James from USA. He has organised plantation camps in several parts of India and even crossed international boundaries for planting trees in Nepal and Bhutan.