Green India Challenge: Ex-chairman of Tandur municipality nurtures husband's memories in a plant
Green India Challenge, the brainchild of Rajya Sabha Member Joginapally Santosh Kumar, is not just aimed at encouraging people from all walks of life to plant trees, it is also about nurturing human relationships
HYDERABAD: Green India Challenge, the brainchild of Rajya Sabha Member Joginapally Santosh Kumar, is not just aimed at encouraging people from all walks of life to plant trees, it is also about nurturing human relationships.
Former Municipal Chairperson of Tandur, Kotrika Vijayalakshmi who lost her husband six years ago, celebrated her husband’s birthday every year by decorating the sapling that he had planted when he was alive and spending time with the plant along with her relatives and friends.
“It was July 29, seven years ago when I returned home after attending the ‘Telangana Ku Haritha Haram’ program in Tandur, my husband Kotrika Venkaiah (63) who was very sick at that time was waiting for me outside the house. As it was his birthday, we both planted one sapling in front of our home under the Green India Challenge,” Vijayalakshmi said, sharing her memory with NewsTAP on Sunday.
The very next year Vijayalakshmi lost her husband and was left alone with her three sons and a lot of loving memories of her husband. “Then I thought why not celebrate my husband’s birthday with the plant that stood like a sentinel in front of my home,” she said explaining why she started celebrating her husband’s birthday with the growing plant.
However, the municipal authorities uprooted the plant in 2022 as it was an obstruction to the road widening programme. “I urged them not to damage the plant and kept the root zone safe inside the home and watered it regularly,” Vijalakshmi said. As Tandur was famous for its Tur dal and houses Agricultural Research Station, the former Municipal Chairperson requested the scientists there to save the plant that she worshipped and they accepted her request.
They provided a place for the plant inside their research station and provided nutrients and other needed nourishment for the plant, which had no leaves and almost looked dead at that time, to recover. The plant surprisingly recovered and looked healthy.
Now every year Venkaiah’s birthday is celebrated by offering pooja and sweets in the presence of the plant. They even held a feast once, in memory of Venkaiah in the presence of the plant.
Santosh Kumar calls up Vijayalakshmi
MP Joginapally Santosh Kumar not only shared this wonderful story through his Twitter handle but also called up Vijayalakshmi on Sunday and congratulated her for giving shape to her memories and making the bond with her late husband stronger and stronger with every passing year.
“A strong, determined lady searching for her lost husband amidst the tree he planted on his birthday as part of the Green India Challenge initiative. Every year on his birthday, the family celebrates at this tree, showing their affection and bonding. Let's applaud the dedication and the power of love that unites them with nature,” he said.
He noted that very few could transform the fond memories of their departed into something tangible and above all something green. “You have proved that one could turn their emotions for the good of others. Planting saplings and nurturing them is for the common good of the people around us. We at the Green India Challenge will always support you in your endeavour to make the surroundings green,” he said.