June 4, 2012 2:34:16 am
His formal education is limited,and his bio-data reveals that he is a school drop-out. But that hasn’t stopped Mahendra Ghagare,founder of city based environmental organisation,’Harit Mitra Parivar’,in pursuing a mission. In the past ten years,he has donated free seeds and tree saplings to a variety of people,institutions,and continues to do his bit for the government as well.
Seeds are costly,and stems are even costlier. There are lots of people who depend on these seeds for their daily bread. I started this plan to give seeds free of cost so that these people are able to start their work. This initiated me to start the business,” he says. He has donated tree saplings to the National Defence Academy,Yerwada Central Prison,State Reserve Police Force,Forest Department’s nursery,Pune Zilla Parishad and a number of educational institutions across 12 districts.
Ghagare was born and raised in Daund. His father was a vegetable vendor. His knowledge in plants and seeds is tremendous. He has contributed 1.5 lakh saplings and a variety of seeds and plants to Solapur university,which has helped the university develop a beautiful campus. Now,with the help of students and university,the seeds and saplings are being nurtured very well from the past two years. I have planted mango saplings and students of the university take utmost care of it. The proceeds from the sale of mangoes will be used for the benefit of those economically weaker students who will seek admission in the university. I provide seeds and saplings,now the students do the rest of the work under my guidance,” says Ghagare.
Ghagare handles all types of jungle seeds,medicinal seeds,plants and earthworm fertilisers. He feeds the trees’ fruits to cattle and then collects the cow dung to use after it dries. When asked what would be his agenda as a university senate member,Ghagare said,I am proud. From the past 10 years I have been donating tree saplings and seeds free of cost. Nobody had recognised my work,but now since I am the member of senate,people recognise me at a higher level. The credit came my way because of trees and saplings,now I intend to return the generosity with more and more trees,” he adds. People are not so enthusiastic about planting seeds. It’s high time they work on the maintenance of the ecosystem.”
Ghagare will arrange for free seeds and saplings,and on June 5 he will be planting them on hill locks across the city. “I was approached by ‘Mahindra’ corporation as they wanted me to develop the green cover of Urse village near Pune. About 3,000 saplings will be planted on that day and villagers will ensure that the tress and saplings will be taken care of. Creating awareness among people and making them join the cause is the main motive behind the project,” he says.
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