Baripada: “There is no tomorrow in saving the Mother Nature. So, let’s start today”. With this Mantra, he has started his mission for green surrounding in 1983. Since then he had never looked back and have successfully grown hundreds of plants of various species in his surroundings.
On World Environment Day, meet 70-year-old Yogendra Patra of Udala in Mayurbhanj district, who has sacrificed half of his life for the mother Earth for restoration of eco system. It is only because he understood the harsh consequence of massive deforestation.
Patra, fondly known as Tree Man, has not only assumed tree plantation as his passion but also he has been spending several hours every day in creating awareness among people especially the youth mass.
“Tree is as like as human being. I started my mission in 1983 and have been planting saplings since then. A man needs oxygen moment after his birth. Who would fulfill the amount of pure oxygen required for the entire society? Trees are the only alternative,” Patra said.
The ‘Tree Man’ not only plants saplings but also celebrate the day of plantation as the birth day of the same plant.
His noble endeavor has turned out to be an inspiration for others in his locality. “His contributions for the environment can’t simply be imagined. We all have been inspired by him towards a green cover. Accordingly, we also follow his foot print to save our mother earth,” Susnigdha Kalyani Hota, a local said.
“He does the noble works not only in our village or locality but also he does the same thing with all enthusiasms wherever he goes. If a kind of tree is not available in our area, he brings it from relative’s village. He wants that surrounding should be filled with a green cover with different kinds of trees,” said Jayant Behera, another local.
It is said that selfless service is paid off. The adage is reflected in the life of the septuagenarian environmentalist as he has been awarded by many organisations. One of the best prizes he has been awarded with is ‘Prakruti Bandhu Samman’.