26th January, 1977 was when he planted his first 9 Peepal tree saplings. And thus began his journey. He had, even then, always dreamed of making our planet a lot more greener, a little better. Little did he know that he would, one day, quit his corporate job only to dedicate his entire life and time to planting trees and be a INSPIRATION to millions of people and a friend to millions of trees.
Azad Jain, Peepal Baba, Parivartan are the names people know him by. 3 names, 1 man and his one and only vision: TREES. More trees.
“Give Me Trees”- his charitable Trust (Registered) was started by him in 2011. 5 years into it and he has given each day of his life ever since he can remember in doing what he does the best, making a change. Peepal Baba has over 11 thousand TRAINED Volunteers all over India who help him with the planting work and look after the saplings even after.
How does he get the money and resources to plant millions of trees? Well, let’s hear it from the man himself, “We have always grown and prepared our own saplings, most of which are Peepal. I have never bought any saplings from a Government nursery. Whenever required, we bought them from a Private Nursery. We have very kind people donating saplings and at times, money, and helping us in whatever way they can. We have never had any help from the government. I had written to them but never got any reply.”
In a time where tree planting has become a mere “Everyone should plant atleast one tree in a year” fashion, here is a man who selflessly plants trees without counting the number or expecting anything out of it other than more volunteers and a few more hands.
“When i was around 8 years old, I discovered this unstoppable passion for trees. I used to hide the saplings in my Tiffin box, inside my socks and plant it wherever i found an empty spot. I used my school water bottle to water the saplings i had planted.”
The name Peepal Baba was given to him by people due to his love for Peepal Trees. Out of the 10.5 Million trees he has planted, 10 million are Peepal trees. But why Peepal? ” Peepal Tree is huge. It’s roots go deep underground and spread the maximum, does not require too much watering and is tough and durable. And ofcourse, it gives so much shade too. Also, it has innumerable medicinal qualities, is a great nesting home for squirrels and insects but most of all, no-one cuts a Peepal Tree because it’s auspicious. Peepal tree is a complete ecosystem on its own. I have planted all kinds of trees like Neem, Bakain, Pilkhan, Jamun, Mango, Sheesham, Eucalyptus, Poplar, Banyan, Goolar and many many more. I plant maximum of Peepal tree for a reason and i know how beneficial it is.”
His work and passion is an inspiration to all. Every tree planted by him and his supporters is always by hand. He does not believe in using machinery for giving life to something none of us can live without.
He calls out to everyone to come forward and join him in this journey. With a huge smile and a sense of satisfaction he says, “It is my aim in life to plant 90 Million to 1 Billion trees in my lifetime, with the help of my supporters and friends. By making this a people-movement, i can spread more awareness and awaken the sensitivity in people for our environment. I am also working on a big scale project and will announce it when the time is right.”
We need more humans like him who not only dream and wish for a better world but take a step forward and work towards it. One step at a time Sir. You define HERO for us all. WE SALUTE YOU!
You can follow him on his Facebook page “Give Me Trees” and help him by volunteering at the plantation drives.