The tree man of Punjab on a green mission
The charitable trust led by environmentalist Baba Sewa Singh has planted nearly 3.46 lakh trees to date, covering approximately 382 km of roads and 400 villages.Updated: Jun 06, 2018 09:26 IST
Baba Sewa Singh, chief of Dera Kar Sewa Khadur Sahib and the recipient of Padma Shri, is on a green mission to convert all barren roads of India into ‘shady’ paths with his plantation drive.
Baba Sewa Singh launched a campaign for environment in 1999 to commemorate the 500th birth anniversary of Guru Angad Dev. Khadur Sahib,where Guru Angad Dev lived for 13 years, is the village which has been sanctified by the visits of eight Sikh Gurus.
At the beginning of the drive, the trust established a nursery on around seven acres in the village with modern technology to facilitate the supply of plants.
A LONG ROAD
To date, the campaign has already covered around 382 kms in Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, besides 400 villages of Punjab. The organisation has planted nearly 3,46,281 trees, deployed around 100 volunteers and arranged dozens of water tankers to ensure that none of these planted trees die for want of care.
Baba Sewa Singh, who is in his early sixties, says, “We prefer to plant trees around barren roads, public places, hospitals and schools. We have more than one lakh saplings, which are ready in the nursery, waiting to be planted.”
“Right now, we have initiated a drive in association with Amritsar district administration to plant around 2500 flowering trees to beautify the Doburji-Jandiala stretch on the Amritsar-Jalandhar National Highway. Besides this, we recently planted thousands of trees on the stretch between Noordi Adda and Mannan village in Tarn Taran district,” says Singh.
THE ‘MIRACLE’ GIFT
The organisation has also been distributing saplings to newly married couples and prominent personalities visiting Khadur Sahib gurudwara to spread awareness about the importance of trees. “Sohanjna (moringa) tree, also called the miracle tree, has been used to treat and prevent around 200 diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, anaemia, arthritis, and liver disease,” says Baba Sewa Singh, who has also been honoured by Prince Phillip and United Nations general secretary Ban Ki Moon for his work.
Singh prefers to plant native species of trees, which are hardier and easier to grow than their exotic or ornamental cousins. The organisation is motivating local communities to plant a host of local medicinal, ornamental, shade-bearing and fruit trees. From the big banyan, peepal, and Indian rosewood to neem, from the juicy mulberry and mango to bael and guava, Baba Sewa Singh encourages a wide gamut of trees to maintain an ecological equilibrium.