Saju K. Paul, a health conscious resident of Aluva, walks around 6 km a day. But on Sundays that walk assumes more significance than mere personal fitness. For the last three years, the 55-year-old electrician has dedicated it to a nobler cause of planting seeds of fruits along the way he walks.
On Sunday evenings, he boards a bus headed in Ernakulam direction and gets down at a random stop to begin his walk interspersed with the planting of seeds. “There is no point in living life without doing something useful to society. What can be better than giving something back to the nature,” said Mr. Saju. He usually carries seeds of jamun fruits and sweet lemon during these walking bouts.
Ever since they became aware of his unique habit, the households, which hire him as electrician, have been supplying him the seeds. Mr. Saju, who runs an electrical shop near the Aluva private bus stand, also collects the seeds from the compounds of the nearby Vidyadhiraja School, KSEB office and the government hospital, all of which sport jamun fruit trees. Security guards at these places now help him collect the seeds.
He stockpiles jamun seed fruits during the three-month period from January to March when it flourishes and sweet lemon seeds during its season in October and November.
There have been instances in which people had approached him suspiciously seeing him digging up soil by the roadside. “But once they come to know what I’m doing, then that suspicion is replaced by appreciation and even admiration. Many of them had shaken my hands appreciating the effort,” said Mr. Saju.
He proudly claims that many of the seeds he had planted had grown into trees, which he looks at with much joy as he passes along the way. And that is an inspiration for him to continue with walk for the nature.