Take a green break at this post office in Karnataka!

Nargund post office is an example of how one man can change an entire place. It has become a role model for other government offices
Schoolchildren visit the artificial pond in the mini-forest at the Nargund post office
Schoolchildren visit the artificial pond in the mini-forest at the Nargund post office

GADAG: Which is one of the most favoured picnic spots in Nargund town? Though hard to believe, it is the post office, whose premises have been turned into a lush green, mini-forest. All this is because of the interest and effort of one postal staffer, Maritimmappa Karigar, who transformed the space when he was posted here in 2017.

When he first visited his workplace, its premises were covered in bushes and thorns. He sought the permission of his superior and Gadag Postal Superintendent K Basavaraju to clean the place and plant trees. Once the green signal came, he went about planting saplings of several species, and today, those plants have grown, and the post office has turned into a mini-forest.

The staff from the postal department and social forestry division of the forest department helped him with saplings, but most of the time, Karigar spent from his pocket to buy the saplings. However, his colleagues crowd-funded to build a pond.

Karigar, who hails from Asundi of Gadag district, has taken part in many awareness camps as he knows his plants very well. Karigar, who is posted at Koppal now, says he learnt which trees have more oxygen and how to make a mini-forest from the elders in his village and guides. Residents from nearby areas visit the post office instead of parks or gardens, for their morning and evening walks.

After hearing about it, Mundargi Taluk Government School Principal Ravi Devareddy and some environmental enthusiasts met Karigar. Devareddy said, “Karigar has a good knowledge of trees and has planted many varieties. We like to thank the staff who encouraged Karigar, and joined hands with him to create this beautiful green space for the people.”

Mahesh Hanganakatti, a schoolteacher from Nargund, said, “We have visited the post office many times. It has become a small forest and many children too frequent this place. It is now one of the favourite picnic spots for the people of the town.”

Karigar said, “I was transferred to Nargund in 2017. I spoke to the other staff and Basavaraju. I got permission to plant saplings, and met the social forest department and other departments before buying seeds and saplings. We also built water ponds to irrigate the mini-forest. Now I am working at the Koppal post office, but many people still call me and express their gratitude and pleasure for the changes we brought in at the Nargund post office. I thank all the staff at Nargund and Gadag post office who were involved in the process and who helped me.”

MS Nayak, a school principal from Nargund, said, “Nargund post office is an example of how one man can change the immediate environment. Now it is a role model for other post offices and government offices. All government offices should revamp their premises like the Nargund post office, to make places greener. We witnessed heat waves for the first time in the district this year. If we had more trees, we would not have faced such a situation. Planting customary saplings on special occasions like World Environment Day (June 5) is not helpful. It is inconsequential. But planting more trees for our future generations is important and we thank Karigar for his effort at the Nargund post office.”

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