Meet Shyam Kumar ? an autorickshaw driver and environmentalist

Auto rikshaw driver

Do you dream about owning a home in the countryside? A walk in the park can significantly impact wellbeing. The sight of greenery can uplift your mood and put you in a positive state of mind. Nature is home to many living beings right from birds to insects and animals. While we benefit immensely from trees and plants, why is their sacrifice accepted in the name of progress?

It takes around 10 to 20 years for a tree to grow fully. A tree matures when it starts producing fruits and flowers. With proper sunlight and sufficient water, trees can grow independently. Since trees are all around, it is taken for granted. To serve a purpose, trees are cut in the blink of an eye. Yet when it?s time for tree plantation, people are reluctant.  

Shyam Kumar from Kerala

This auto driver from Palakkad Kerala has taken matters in his hands and is now an inspiration to many. Shyam Kumar is an auto driver who has been the face behind planting 23,000 saplings in the panchayat of Koduvayur, Perumvambu and Thenkurissi in Kerala. After reading ?Vrikshayurveda? by Surapala, a 2000-year-old book, he learnt about the umpteen benefits of growing trees and then there was no holding him back. He has not only planted these saplings but has tended to them for over 20 years. Shyam has planted seeds of Neem, Jamun, Palmyra, Peepal and other variety of saplings on the roadside. He further places a stick beside it and ties a plastic bottle with a tiny hole to water the plants. Shyam believes it is a collaborative journey when it comes to the environment. Humans must care for nature, and nature will take care of humans in return. It?s not just trees that have caught his attention. He also intends to clean water bodies. Shyam has received the P V Thampy memorial award, instituted in memory of the late journalist and writer.

Sustainable living

Sustainable living ensures all living beings can live in harmony in natural settings without exploiting either. Initially, he worked on these saplings by himself, but with time his wife and children worked towards this initiative as well. Within a radius of 15 km around his village, he has planted these saplings. His efforts have attracted birds, squirrels and bats. His was motivated after he read how ?a single tree can make a difference to 10 children at a time.? When he started his endeavour, global warming, environment and deforestation had begun to attract attention from people. 

Here Are 7 Reasons Why Nature Is Good For You:

  1. You will sleep better. Sleeping in a place surrounded by too much light and noise will disturb your sleep patterns. If you have troubling sleeping at night, evening strolls will help you sleep soundly.
  2. Are you facing a creativity block? Nature is here to the rescue. Fresh air can help you think clearly and fight any stress-related fatigue.
  3. You will be a healthy mind. Can you resist a walk in the shade of dense trees? While even sitting a few minutes can relax the mind, it can reduce anxiety and depression as well.
  4. You will be a happier person. Just 15 minutes in nature has a therapeutic effect. Yes, it is that quick.
  5. Your memory will get sharper. You will be able to focus on the tasks easily as your mind will be decluttered.
  6. Your bones will thank you. Getting the right amount of sun exposure will increase the vitamin D intake. This, in turn, will help in the absorption of calcium in the body and prevent osteoporosis.
  7.  Your immune system will get stronger. A study showed that spending time in the outdoors increases the white blood cells and fights viruses.  

Did You Know?

When trees are cut they scream too. It is known as an ultrasonic scream or distress sound which is produced when stems are cut or if they are not watered adequately.


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