Man Made Forest In India -Kasargod -” Abdul Kareem Forest “
August 13, 2013 5 Comments
SOURCE : GOODNEWSINDIA.COM
Kareem was a man who was neither lettered nor connected to any source of information that would help him. He trusted his guts. He was a man haunted by his desire for a Kaavu. After about a year of helplessly watching his property, he began to plant mature saplings of wild trees in spaces between laterite rocks. During the summer he would fetch water in cans lashed to his motorbike from a source a kilometre away. The reasonably successful travel business was seeing all its surpluses flow into this impossible dream. Landowners nearby found in Abdul Kareem an exit route. For decades their rocky spreads had produced nothing and here was a crazy man willing to buy them. As his family watched in panic amazement, Abdul Kareem bought 32 acres of a rocky slope.
For three summers, he nursed his plants with water ferried from afar. And then nature sent him a feed back. “In the third year, when my plantation was but of young adult trees, the water level in the well rose!’ he says. “That itself seemed an end for me and I began to plant the whole extent in a frenzy.” He chose a variety of plants plucked from the wild and let nature do the rest. He learnt that you enable nature, not direct it. Birds began to arrive and discharge all manner of seeds. Weeds grew and amidst them rare herbs and medicinal plants – none chosen by Kareem. Water levels in Kaliyanam, Varranjnyur and other villages within a 10km radius rose. The once barren hill was now a water sponge.
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He has never weeded his acres, never lopped a tree, never swept the leaves, never hunted game, never selected a species and of course, never used a chemical of any kind. “My rewards are the highly mineralised, herbalised water, the fragrant air, the daily walks through the woods, a healthy life and an enormous peace,” he says. He has for over ten years, lived in a house, built in the forest. Not a shred of plastic or paper is seen anywhere. They are a part of his long list of no- nos along with cars, noise, smoking, fire or partying.
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