Meet 28-yearold Ballur Umesh BN, whose vision is to paint the world green by planting more and more trees. Umesh, who has a diploma in education (D.Ed.), is the lone bread earner in his family. He chose his way to be an active environmentalist and is quite ecstatic to see the greens around, which has his own sweat and hard work.
This farmer’s ambition is supported by his mother Prabhavathi who took lot of pains to support him for his social service and environmental work. With her help, today Umesh is able to work independently with neither any government aid nor NGO donations.
His immediate plan is to plant trees on the Hassan - Belur highway where he has already completed 16 kms out of the planned 36 kms.
His main inspiration came from Saalumarada Thimmakka, who is an environmentalist. “When I was studying in eighth standard, I read an article about her and was quite impressed. She treated the trees as her own children and took care of them, which is a noble cause,” he explains.
Taking inspiration from her, Umesh started planting trees using his pocket money. His ambition is to plant one crore trees in his life span.
Apart from planting trees in hills, government office, schools and any empty place, he also visits youngsters in colleges and has already given around 500 lectures on the importance of green growth. “I recently visited Bangalore and I was shocked to see more of garbage than greenery. We call it a garden city, but when outsiders visit the city, they will think we are lying,” says Umesh, who is planning an awareness programme in one-and-half months. “I want to spend at least 4 to 6 months in the city and spread awareness among people about the importance of planting trees. Each citizen should at least own 4 trees in their life. We respect our parents, guru and even people who have helped us in life. In the same way we should help the environment by planting trees,” explains Umesh, who has started an andolan (movement) called Prithvi Bachcaho (Save Earth).
For Umesh, it is not only environment but also banning plastic which is priority. “I never use plastic wherever I go nor do I drink anything if given in plastic glasses. I have around 10 people who are with me. Even they have stopped using plastic in any way,” he says. He owns a nursery in his own dry land and freely distributes different plants to the farmers. In a year, about twenty thousand plants have been distributed to the farmers. “About a lakh of students have taken environment saving oath from me and have joined hands with my association, Vanasiri Snehakuta,” he says. From 2006, as part of ‘Save Earth’ movement, he has visited 300 villages to create awareness among the illiterate farmers. “I am also planning to visit entire Karnataka in the near future,” he says.
Chipko movement’s famous leader Sundar Lal Bahuguna while visiting Hassan, also visited him and was quiet surprised to witness this young man’s green service.
To support his rural greening and to help him achieve his goals, contact him on 9845847962 or mail: vanasiriumesh@ yahoo.in