ERODE: “Try to leave the earth a better place than when you arrived,” said the famous American writer Sidney Sheldon. Hari Ramamoorthy seems to be doing exactly that. Being an executive officer at Anthiyur town panchayat, the duties and responsibilities that comes with the job doesn’t stop him from making his earnest contributions to mother earth and humanity.
Hari is known for setting up organic gardens and effective waste management systems in the unkempt lands in the panchayats. For decades, the backyard of Anthiyur town panchayat office was filled with weeds and other wastes when Hari was transferred to the place in November 2019. Hari, talking about his initial days, said, “The first thing that caught my attention was the unkempt land attached to the panchayat office. I wanted to clean and develop it but didn’t get the time to execute it.
The Covid-induced lockdown brought with it the time and scope for giving the space a makeover.” As the area is surrounded by hills, it has a slightly lower temperature than other regions. Keeping this in mind, I decided to set up a vineyard in the 2 acres of land as it would suit the climatic conditions,” he continued. In the last week of June, as many as 300 grape saplings were brought from Hosur.
Ramamoorthy, along with other office staff, cleanliness workers and villagers cleared up the bushes, tilled the soil and made it fit for ranch. After planting the saplings, the trellis were placed to support their growth. As there isn’t sufficient water in the borewell, staff are planning to install a drip irrigation plant in the next phase. When asked about the source of funds for this activity, Ramamoorthy said he made use of his savings and many NGOs and volunteers also chipped in for the cause.
Apart from this, he has also set up a kitchen garden on the terrace of the building where tomatoes, lady’s finger, eggplant and many other vegetables have grown out of their pots. There are also herbal plants on the premises. Since the initiative is not aimed at making money, the harvest is given free of cost to more than 100 staff of the panchayat and the villagers.
Speaking to Express, sanitary inspector Gunasekar and supervisor Eswaramoorthy said, “Gardening has become a part of our routine after Ramamoorthy joined the office. He always emphasises on leading an eco-friendly life.” Heaping praises on the executive officer, Subramanian TP, a farmer based in Anthiyur, said that he never knew grapes would grow in the locality until Ramamoorthy succeeded in his experiment.