|SUDHANSHU GUPTA, IFS
DISTRICT FOREST OFFICER
ATTUR - 636 102
1995 - 1998
Pudurpalpetti village of Nammakal District belonging to Attur Division was one of the villages in abject poverty during 1998. The Forest Department of TamilNadu started programme of afforestation with the help of OECF Japan. The objective of afforestation programme was to gather support of villagers to preserve, protect and augment forests of Tamil nadu enlisting help from social groups. The Rotary club of Attur acted as catalyst in generating active support in integrated and cohesive approach of Forest Department to safeguard biodiversity. The said club with missionary zeal adopted village of Pudurpalpeti.
The Thamampatty Range of Attur Forest Division used to be repository of Sandalwood. Presently in the same motherland of gene pool of Sandalwood hardly any sandal wood trees could be seen. I visited this village with the objective of protecting these Sandalwood trees. Forest Range officer Chandrashekhar was one of the pioneers in finding lots of Sandal seedlings existing near this village. While visiting this sandal wood treasure, I saw strength of this village in protecting them as it lied just at the boundary of the Reserve Forests. In the same year 1998, the Tamilnadu afforestation project brainchild of Mr CK Shreedharan, Chief Conservator of Forests was launched.
The goal of Forest Department was to reorient human resources of the Department by treating forests as peopleís property and seeking villagerís cooperation to save the Forests of Tamilnadu. The Rotary club of Attur was doing excellent work in Attur Division. The idea of bringing in Rotary club germinated with my meeting with Mr N Selvraj and Mr Thangvelu. The visit of Mr Nagrajan and Father figure of Salem Rotary club Mr Purshottaman crystallized the idea of gathering support of villagers in safeguarding the Environment and Forests. It was unique exercise for the Rotary club, as the joint efforts of Forest and Rotary club desired powerful social movement to be launched in the village. The making of houses was a long exercise, which started with writing to Donors, and finally from Japan the required support came. It was a dream come true for me to see these houses in May 99. The emotional meeting and tears of villagers overwhelmed me with joy when I reached Pudurpalpetti from DehraDun on 7th May, 2000 two years later at the dedication and allotment of 36 low cost shelters to the Tribal.
I Salute Rotary club of Sendaikamuri District 2810, Japan, Rotary club of Sapporo west, Hokkiado-District 2510, Japan, District governor Masao Morimoto District 2510, Japan, District Governor Akiyoshi Nakano District 2630, Japan, District Governor Naozo Matsuda District 2690, Japan and the efforts of Rtn. PDGPV.Purushothaman, District 2980 and other members of Rotary Club of Attur District, in achieving the task. I also thank efforts of my successors for sustaining the collaborative effort. Presence of Governor Rotary club Chief Conservator of Forests Mr. C.K. Sridharan, IFS and Conservator of Forests Mr. P.L. Ananthswamy, IFS was a fitting tribute to the joint efforts of Rotary Club and Forest Department. The photographs of transformation (annexed below) force me to say: -
Afforestation in degraded land; Working with hand in hand;
Makes me believe that
Earth is a habitat for conserving
Humanity, removing illiteracy
Alleviating poverty and augmenting
Before adoption by Rotary club & Forest Department of TN
After adoption by Rotary club & Forest Department of TN
Inauguration on 7th May, 2000
(From L to R)
Mr.Yogesh Dwivedi IFS, Rtn.Mani, Rtn.Saravanan, Rtn.C.Thangavel(President),
Mr.P.L.Anathasamy IFS, Mr.C.K.Sridharan IFS (Chief Conservator), Mr.Sudhan Su Gupta IFS,
Rtn.PDG.P.V.Purushothaman, Mrs.Arul Jothi Purushothaman,
Dr.Mallika Manohar (Inner Wheel Charter President), Mrs.Chitra Prabakaran(Inner Wheel President)