Dukhu Majhi, A Prolific Planter Of Trees Gets Padma Shri
KOLKATA, (IANS) – For Dukhu Majhi, an environmental activist from a tribal community in West Bengal’s Purulia district and this year’s Padma Shri awardee, the national-level recognition came as quite a surprise.
His first reaction was that he had never imagined that his passion for planting trees would fetch him the Padma Shri.
“I am feeling very happy. Planting trees is my passion. Once I was told by a foreigner that in the future, there would be a lack of oxygen in the air unless more and more trees are planted. Since then, I have made planting trees the mission of my life. I have been doing this for the past many years. But I never thought that this passion of mine would fetch me such national-level recognition,” Majhi said.
He added that the Padma Shri award has strengthened his conviction to go ahead with his mission for planting trees.
“I have been planting trees in my native district of Purulia for the past 12 years. And I will continue doing the same in the coming days as well,” he said.
Majhi’s neighbors in his native village of Sindri are also quite elated over his achievement. According to them, when he started his mission of planting trees over a decade back, many said that this was a ‘mad idea’ in such a remote corner of the state where earning daily livelihood through agriculture is a matter of struggle.
However, such negative suggestions could not distract him from his mission. Slowly, he earned the name ‘tree-freak’ among his neighbors, which gave him the conviction to go ahead with his mission.
His neighbors admit that his dogged conviction has enabled him to reach such a height.