March 2, 2002

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Antony of Vellattanjur near Kunnamkulam, Thalappilly Taluk of Thrissur District


For more than 50 years now, a man has been planting and nurturing saplings at wayside spots in Thalappilly Taluk of Thrissur District.  The septuagenarian Antony has been doing this exercise from the time he was 13 years old.  So far he has planted around 1000 trees.

Antony, who is father to 9 children, shares his love and affection for his children with the saplings he has so lovingly nurtured.  He, however, does not plant all varieties of trees.  Mango, Indian Beech and Jack Fruit are the three tree species he has been planting all these years.

Antony gets the saplings ready during summer and plants them before monsoon.

If anyone asks him why he is so keen on planting saplings on land that does not belong to him, he has this ready answer: This is the only thing I can do for others without seeking help from anybody.  Besides he believes that he will be remembered for the trees he has planted long after he has gone.

So when Antony sets out from his house at Vellattanjur near Kunnamkulam with his cotton bag, grand old umbrella and prop stick, his neighbours know that he has found a new spot for planting a sapling.


Courtesy: N.V.Davies, The New Indian Express

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