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  • World Environment Day: Meet Puri’s ‘Palm Man’ who planted 50,000 saplings with pension money

World Environment Day: Meet Puri’s ‘Palm Man’ who planted 50,000 saplings with pension money

Meet Krushna Chandra Biswal, popularly known as ‘Palm Man’ who has dedicated his life in plantation activities after his retirement from Army.

Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra
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Palm Man Krushna BiswalPhotoPhoto: OTV

Palm Man Krushna Biswal

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World Environment Day is celebrated every year on June 5 to create awareness and encourage efforts to protect the environment. It is celebrated by millions of people across the world.

Well, when the whole world is grappling with climate change-related issues mainly due to a decrease in green covers, a retired Army personnel from Gundalba village under Astarang block in Puri district has inspired one and all by planting and growing more than 50,000 trees singlehandedly.

Meet Krushna Chandra Biswal, popularly known as ‘Palm Man’ who has dedicated his life to plantation activities after his retirement.

Biswal made up his mind to plant trees on vast stretches of barren land in his locality after witnessing the damage inflicted on the environment in the 1999 Super Cyclone as it wreaked havoc on the coastal areas. Gradually, he started planting palm, jamun and mango trees to restore greeneries on the barren lands in his area. He has so far planted more than 50,000 saplings from his pension money. His plantation now covers an area of up to five km and it acts as a green cover in protecting the village against any natural disaster.

His works have been appreciated by many environmentalists. He is often hailed as Puri’s ‘palm man’ by local people. As per Biswal, it is his moral obligation to work towards restoring the greeneries in his village and protecting the environment.

“I was extremely disappointed to find the damage that was inflicted on the environment in my area by the Super Cyclone in 1999. There was widespread devastation in Puri district and various other parts of the State. Then I decided to start planting trees like mango and palm trees initially in the barren areas of my village to restore greenery. Since my childhood, I have always been interested in nature and it gives me immense satisfaction to work for its cause through which I can give back to society,” said Biswal.
Palm Man Krushna BiswalPalm Man Krushna Biswal

As per several experts, the plantation of palm trees can reduce the impacts of lightning strikes as the number of deaths from the thunderbolt is much higher than any other natural disaster. Palm trees are also easy to nurture and grow as there is no need to cover the plants from cattle. This is why Biswal is giving emphasis to plant more and more palm trees.

After another cyclone - Fani that hit Odisha in 2019, Biswal realised the gravity of working for the environment. After retiring from Army, he settled in his village and decided to work on restoring plantations in the cyclone-affected areas. He also started spreading awareness among the youths to help him in the plantation drive. He works on various plantation projects in his area for seven to eight hours on a daily basis. He has dedicated his entire time to plantation activity after his retirement in 2005. Moreover, he spends his own pension money and savings for carrying out the activities.

“These trees act as saviours, in case of any natural disasters such as cyclones or floods. In the long run, it also allows to maintain the fertility of the soil and prevents soil erosion. People should be made more aware about plantation activities to save our beloved earth from the detrimental effect of climate change due to global warming and other factors,” Biswal signed off.

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