Mullai, part of the five ancient landscapes in Tamil Nadu, was a region with abundant grasslands stretched to the horizon. 'Vanam' is Tamil for 'forest'. As his name would suggest, Mullaivanam has been in love with nature all his life. His father introduced him to the concept of organic farming at a young age and he found great joy in planting saplings and watching them grow into trees. The desire to spread this joy to others is what led him to establish a sapling bank in Chennai in 2008.
As part of this initiative, so far, 90 lakh saplings have been planted in Tamil Nadu. A believer in the power of collective effort, he motivates people to join him and hundreds of college students, IT professionals, and others are involved in his mission.
His other good deeds include helping people in times of calamities or disasters. In his words,
“When the vardha puyal hit chennai, we (him and his team) went and helped restore the trees and helped people by providing them free food.”
Mullaivanam, who indulges in organic farming in Chennai, also helps others build and maintain terrace gardens. He also takes time from his busy schedule to plant trees by roadsides, as this is his way of expressing his love for nature.
When he decides to go on a tree-planting spree, nothing can stand in his way, and this can be seen in all the greenery he has spread around Tamil Nadu including in and around government institutions, schools, and hospitals.
Mullaivanam, who is passionate about leaving the planet a better place than we found it, recently filed a petition in the Chennai High Court. The subject of the petition, in his words:
“People should plant trees while buying vehicles. Ones buying two-wheelers should be asked to plant two trees and ones who buy four-wheelers should plant four trees. And growing those trees should be their responsibility as it is all of us who are equally responsible for polluting the environment.”
Although he has received many awards, he isn't planning to take a break from his mission anytime soon. His next project is to plant one crore neem seeds across India.
Read this in Tamil.