This honge in front of a shopping block on Ramavilas Rd. has been named Kamyab. It is the only one of its kind on a row of aged roadside gulmohar and neem. Kamyab is Hindi word for 'accomplishment'.So named, because the person who planted this honge, Mr K R Gurukar, has fulfilled what many of us in the neighbourhood had long wished, but couldn't get it done.
And Mr Gurukar doesn't even live in our neighbourhood. We were pleasantly surprised a couple of days back to see him at work, digging to plant a sapling at the gaping hole left by the loss of an aged tree even before I moved in in this area over five years back. Must admit that my enthusiasm for trees is not hands-on. I am not a shovel-and-tokri person. Age (I am 70 plus) can't be a factor, for Mr Gurukar, 68, has been at it for over a decade and is still going strong; has planted a thousand trees in Mysore.
He is the kind that believes in self-reliance, carrying with him on his bicycle all that he needs for digging and planting. A retired labour dept. official, Mr Gurukar spends from his pension money for the saplings he buys from the forest dept.nursery.
It was Mr K N Sreenivasa, a tree enthusiast in Chamarajanagar Mohalla, who 'discovered' Mr Gurukar for Friends of Roadside Trees, which till about two months ago was little more than a web-driven arm-chair group of tree enthusiasts, His association came as an impetus to get off our chair and do something. We are now in the process of setting up a trust to further our green agenda. A website - TreeFriends - would soon be developed to support the activities of the proposed trust.
Meanwhile, UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) has taken note of our efforts to promote tree planting. In an e-mail from Nairobi-based UNEP communication division, Meshack Mbuyi of The Billion Tree Campaign says, We read with great interest about Friends of Roadside Trees initiative of caring for the trees in the neighborhood and also celebrating life by planting of trees on vacant public space. We find the way you do this very unique and one that can achieve better results, the idea of giving every tree on one’s street an identity is a positive thought as the names are meant to bond the saplings with residents. .... we would like to invite Friends of Roadside Trees and its network of contacts to partner with the UNEP-led Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign.
This row of honge trees were planted by Mr Gurukar a decade ago, in his Saraswathipuram neighbourhood. It would be our endeavour to put the roadside tree-planter of Mysore on the UNEP map through our blog. Hum Honge Kamyab