The single-minded efforts of Chain Singh, a physically challenged man from Delwara, Rajasthan, helped in shaping the landscape from a dust-ridden environment of acute droughts and severely rationed drinking water to greenery and shady trees where the people of his region take pride in participating in his endeavours.
Chain Singh first learnt about the impact of nature on climate in his childhood. “There was a severe drought in my village. People would yearn for a glass of water,” narrates Chain Singh. He learned that more trees bring more precipitation, bringing more rainfall, a solution to the water crisis his village faced.
As he grew up, Chain Singh started life driving a vehicle for hire and the thoughts of trees took a backseat. Fate intervened when he was involved in an accident, which left him with a permanent disability. Not one to feel sorry for himself, he thought of other interests, especially in plants and saplings. “As I child my father used to grow trees. He would give me incentives to water these plants and tell me – One day these plants are going to bear you fruits and flowers,” Chain Singh tells Sambhu, the correspondent from Video Volunteers, who first reported this story.
Starting with small garhas (earthenware pots) of precious drinking water, he slowly applied himself to planting batwa (a kind of local spinach) and many other edible plants. With help, he started nurturing saplings, which today are sturdy trees of peepul, mehndi (henna) and more.
The saplings that Chain Singh planted are huge trees today, where people love to gather in the shade near bus stops and small shops on the roadside.
People of the area soon helped and today all are reaping the benefits of an abundance of plants, trees and greenery for miles around. All because of the love and passion of one man for a rich environment.