Physiotherapist plants a happy, better life

Manoj Singh does not merely plant trees. He changes the lives around him with every sapling he plants.

The 40-year-old Coal Belt-based physiotherapist has turned a green crusader with a greater purpose. Singh, who has planted more than 50,000 plants in various parts of Dhanbad besides his native place at Aurangbad, Bihar, has linked his environment conservation projects with development of leprosy-affected villages.

At least two such colonies ' Birsa Kusth colony in Bhowra and Durgapur Kusth colony in Jharia ' have benefited from the initiatives taken by Singh, who holds a degree in AIDS and family education from Indira Gandhi University and one in physiotherapy from Magadh University.

At Birsa Kusth colony, Singh first dug a pond with the help of some like-minded people in March 2010 for starting a fishery project, which was aimed at augmenting the income of villagers.

"As we won the confidence of the locals (there is a small group of 38 families), we started planting saplings of fruity plants. In 2010 alone, we planted over 60 mango saplings with the pond providing enough water for irrigation. The villagers, many of who suffer from leprosy, earned profit by selling the mangoes in 2011. So, they got readily convinced when we proposed to plant papaya trees in 2011. We planted a total of 150 saplings," said Singh.

Singh also formed two self-help groups of 10 local women each and provided stitching and embroidery training to them. Now, the women are selling cloth bags made by them to nearby shops.

"As we could not have otherwise convinced the villagers to undertake plantation work, we deliberately linked it with income generation schemes," said Manoj Singh, adding that people of the colony were now carrying out plantation in nearby areas to earn money.

Same was the experience of Singh and his team, when they started work, under the banner of NGO Life, at Durgapur Kusth colony comprising 28 families.

They began counselling the residents, who are fighting evils like liquor addition and gambling, in 2011.

"We are in the process of constructing a pond at Durgapur Kusth colony on the lines of the one at the Birsa Kusth colony. So far, we have planted 20 mango trees and 10 papaya trees there," said Singh.

Singh and Co. also conduct door-to-door campaigns, awareness programmes in schools and sent bulk SMSes to residents, urging them to carry out plantation work. Till now, Singh has planted trees at Bhowra, Patherdih, Chasnala, Mohalbani, Jharia, Bastacola, Kandra, Bhaga and Katras.

The green crusader tried another innovative way to convince people to plant more and more trees.

"We conducted a mohalla-wise campaign in Jharia and convinced people to plant a tree on the occasion of their children's birthday in 2010-11. Once they did so, they got emotionally attached with the trees and nurtured them. We also gifted saplings to over 1,000 newly wed couples as a symbol of their married life," he said.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Delhi Daredevils vs Royal Challengers Bangalore

Delhi Daredevils vs Royal Challengers Bangalore

Kohli wins the toss and puts Delhi into bat. Chris Gayle MISSES OUT!!! More »

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

Kallis, Narine star in Knight Riders’ crushing win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

New Zealand selectors included two new caps in a 15-man Test squad named Tuesday to tour the West Indies, with injury-hit spinner Dan Vettori's future… More »

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The Preview — Defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders More »

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

He was aggrieved by the allegations against him during the hearing. More »

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Michael Klinger has revealed he felt compelled to leave South Australia after being told he would be only a fringe part of the Redbacks' plans for next season, and disputed the suggestion that he left… More »

India: cricket's Brazil

India: cricket's Brazil

They are tough to beat with a big talent base exposed to good facilities. (CYCSPL) More »

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Franchises are doing their bit to refurbish the image of the tainted league. More »

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

The revival of Indo-Pak Test ties could take place in UAE. More »

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

'This time around we will hope to go few more steps ahead and actually get that trophy' More »