In 2018, a report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel Climate Change stated that we have only 12 years to control the global temperature. If we fail to do so, the results would be catastrophic, as high temperatures will result in extreme heat, rising sea levels, famine, and floods.
Rallying to save the planet, many nations including India have set targets to cut down their carbon emission by switching to clean energy and increasing green cover.
At present, India has a total green cover of 24.4 percent, and it plans to increase it to 33 percent. Besides the government, several NGOs and individuals have also come forward to contribute to this. Among them is 48-year-old Radhakrishnan Nair who has planted more than six lakh trees till date. And he managed to do this all by himself.
R K Nair | Source: The News Minute
Radhakrishnan is the founding president of Umargam Apparel Welfare Association in Gujarat. He also earned many praises and awards like the Vasundhara Award by the Maharashtra government in 2017. He has planted 40 forests across seven states, including Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bengal, and Chhattisgarh.
So how did it all begin? Radhakrishnan wasn’t an eco-warrior since the beginning but just an entrepreneur based in Gujarat, uplifting the lives of the tribal community by employing them in his company Shree Paurnika Exports.
Radhakrishnan’s tryst with trees began six years ago when he saw around 175 trees being cut down for a road project in Gujarat. He told The News Minute,
I bought a piece of land with a partner and we decided to use the Japanese methodology of Akira Miyawaki to plant 1,500 trees there. Akira Miyawaki, a Japanese botanist, is known for his methods of restoring native forests on degraded soil.
To learn the method, Radhakrishnan and his partner contacted the Japanese team who came to India to teach them.
Radhakrishnan planted his first forest on one acre of land in Umbergaon, Gujarat. The forest soon flourished and attracted a few authorities from Maharashtra, who asked him to do the same on a chemical dumping yard.
In 2016, he planted 32,000 saplings of 38 varieties. As per Mathrubhumi, in the name of Mahatma Gandhi Oxizone, Radhakrishnan planted over one lakh trees on seven acres of land in Pandripani, and Jurida villages, Chhattisgarh. Additionally, an artificial lake was also created on two-and-a-half acres of land in middle of the forest.
Now, he plans to plant a forest for the martyrs of the Pulwama attack. The forest will be named ‘Pulwama Shahid Vann’, and will consist of 40,000 trees of 40 varieties.
Besides his love for greenery, Radhakrishnan also operates three training centres in Gujarat and Maharashtra. Here, he has trained over 10,000 individuals living below the poverty line to be able to afford a better living.