International Day Of Forests: Celebrating the wilderness

Hero to nature lovers, this messiah of trees is down-to-earth

Eco-project: Nature lover Shyamkumar M. discussing the plan to set up a new herbal garden at the Calicut University Teacher Education Centre, Koduvayur, with its Principal C.A. Geetha under a tree he planted a few years ago.

Eco-project: Nature lover Shyamkumar M. discussing the plan to set up a new herbal garden at the Calicut University Teacher Education Centre, Koduvayur, with its Principal C.A. Geetha under a tree he planted a few years ago.  

Nature lover Shyamkumar M. has planted more than 23,000 trees

If the hottest, largest district in the State is looking for a hero to celebrate World Sparrow Day (March 20), World Forest Day (March 21) and World Water Day (March 22), here is one man who can beat the competition by miles.

Nature lover Shyamkumar M. has more than 23,000 trees to his credit, befriended thousands of birds, and saved many human lives through his timely interventions in society.

This green hero from Thenkurissi is much in demand in neighbouring villages of Palakkad. Mr. Shyamkumar’s trees have grown to provide shelter and shade even in places such as Puduchery, Kavaratti, Kochi, and Thrissur.

This messiah of trees continues to be down-to-earth, planting and nurturing saplings even after many an accolade came his way. “Planting trees is not a big thing, but nurturing it is,” Mr. Shyamkumar told C.A. Geetha, Principal of Calicut University Teacher Education Centre at Koduvayur.

Dr. Geetha and her students were gratefully ecstatic on Wednesday when Mr. Shyamkumar dropped onto the campus to take a look at the jamun, Indian beech (ungu), mandaram, bedda nut tree (thanni) and rain tree he had planted in 2012. “These trees are our saviours in this scorching summer,” said Dr. Geetha, who is planning to set up a garden of herbs with the support of Mr. Shyamkumar.

Missionary zeal

Mr. Shyamkumar is remembered by many a beneficiary across the State for planting trees along the side of roads, near hospitals, schools, colleges, bus stands and other public places with missionary zeal. He has trees to remember any occasion, including the death of former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

“Trees such as neem, Indian beech and sacred fig or arayal are the best trees for our summer,” said Mr. Shyamkumar.

Always ready

An autorickshaw driver by profession, this one-man green army ensures drip irrigation for his plants by installing discarded water bottles on them. The palm trees he planted on both sides of the Malampuzha canal between Kinassery and Navakode are a sight to watch. He always carries enough seeds and seedlings and the tools to plant them in his autorickshaw.

His help is sought whenever people want to plant a tree in public and private place alike.

Mr. Shyamkumar is truly a down-to-earth hero.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 6:44:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/hero-to-nature-lovers-this-messiah-of-trees-is-down-to-earth/article26594123.ece

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