Mrunal Manmay Dash

At a time when even siblings forget their relationship and do not hesitate to indulge in violent activities against each other, a doctor’s love and respect for his gardener has become the talk of Belaguntha town in Ganjam district.

Doctor Balunkeswar Sarangi, who works at Gobara Community Health Centre (CHC) in Belaguntha, has enormous love for trees, especially medicinal plants. And he has manifested his love for plants through his love for his late gardener, Khadal Behera.

Khadal, who worked as the gardener at the CHC, was an obedient and soft-spoken person. Khadal used to stay at the hospital and worked there tirelessly. His dedication to taking care of plants and his duty had set him apart from other employees of the hospital. Even doctor Sarangi was highly impressed by his skills and work ethic.

Sarangi was so moved by Khadal’s personality that he dedicated a medicinal garden in his memory and even installed his statue there.

The garden at the Gobara CHC is filled with many medicinal plants like Camphor Tulsi, Sthal Padma, White lily, Brahmi and Juani.

“It fills me with immense happiness looking at the garden and the statue. I feel like seeing my father in real. My father used to take care of the garden and the trees. He cleaned them regularly. That is why sir (Balunkeswar Sarangi) loves my father so much,” said Khadal’s daughter Laxmi Behera.

“This garden has a healing touch on anybody who visits here. It acts as a small amusement park too where children pass their time by playing. This is a really nice thing done by Sarangi sir,” said a local Krushnachandra Patnaik.

Speaking about the garden and medicinal plants, Doctor Sarangi said, “People’s interest increases when we provide identity to the trees. They will be motivated to plant similar trees in their backyard too. I even give interested people branches of trees and plants to grow at their place”.