Odisha: 72-year-old Tree Teacher plants more than 30,000 trees over 60 years
At a time when the world is witnessing the horrors of nature due to climate change and its over-exploitation by humans, a 72-year-old man in Odisha has dedicated his life to planting trees and increasing the green cover of the state.
Antarjyami Sahoo alias Gachha Sir (Tree teacher) of Kintilo village in Nayagarh District of Odisha has planted more than 30,000 trees in the last 60 years in public places across the state.
The 72-year-old Sahoo's journey for environment preservation started when he was a Class 6 student and planted a banyan seedling near his village.
"I have been planting trees since 1961. And even today, I work towards saving the environment. It makes me happy," Sahoo told ANI.
He said planting tree is his "passion and service towards nature."
A retired school teacher, Sahoo still visits schools to educate students about the importance of increasing green cover and educate them about preserving nature.
Sahoo's efforts have been recognised by both state and central government and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik along with Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan praised him over Twitter. Odisha government has also conferred him with the "Nature Lover" award.
HD Dhanaraj Hanumants, Divisional Forest Officer (Nayagarh), informed that the Forest department has implemented many of Sahoo's suggestions in the Nayagarh Forest Division
"Be it planting trees or motivating others through his environmental campaigns, Gachha Sir gives his 100 per cent. We have implemented many of his suggestions in the Nayagarh Forest Division. The CM has also acknowledged his efforts," said the Divisional Forest Officer.