Gaya (Bihar) [India], February 13 (ANI): Satyendra Gautam Manjhi from Imaliyachak, a small village in the Belaganj block area of Gaya district, has on his own planted a huge orchard on the wastelands of an island in the Phalgu River.
Manjhi said that he started work on his orchard, which consists of 10,000 trees, mostly guava, 15 years ago inspired by the 'mountain man' Dashrath Manjhi.
He recounted that Dashrath Manjhi, who singlehandedly carved a path through a mountain, came to his house one day.
"Dashrath Manjhi told me to plant an orchard in this area. At that time this place was barren and deserted and there was only sand everywhere. It was a lot of trouble in the beginning. Water had to be brought from the house in a pot for the plants," he further said.
Talking to ANI he said, "Animals used to destroy the plants. I brought thorny bushes from the forest and made a hedge. The hedge still protects my orchard."
"When Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar came to know about my contribution to environmental protection, I was made a member of the Child Protection Commission," he said.
Satendra Gautam Manjhi holds an MA degree from Magadh University.
An erstwhile member of the Child Protection Commission and currently a member of the Senate at the University of Magadh, Manjhi still continues to take care of his orchard.
Most of the guavas are of the Allahabad Guava variant which is considered to be of high quality. He added that he has started making profits by selling guava.
"I urge the people of this country to start planting trees," he further said. (ANI)