I work in an IT company somewhere along the OMR. I spend most of my weekdays being drained of my energy and the weekends trying to sleep and gain all of the energy back for the next week. Does that sting? That’s probably because deep inside, we know that it describes a lot of us.
It’s hard enough dealing with this monotony of life, doing something good for the community is out of question. Wait. Shouldn’t the monotony be a reason to do something more rather than not to?
This is exactly what I thought when I spoke to Vinoth Kumar from Ainthinai, CTC’s Tree Plantation initiative.
He planted two seeds in my mind.
I wondered why most people hold back from doing something more in life. As Vinoth reminisced about his first event tree plantation event, he began by saying he had absolutely no idea how to join the events and was scared about working with new people. When volunteers were called to organize the event, he put up his hand anyway. This small step, hesitant yet full of courage, gave him the opportunity to be the organizer for an event. It was a wonderful experience, he says, for everything that he learnt and most importantly the like-minded people he met. Vinoth talks about the cause with much fondness and his first event is much cherished by him because the event happened around his area! These experiences surely teach one a lot of character. But the way I see it, it has taught Vinoth extreme humility and modesty along with leadership.
Now, what if one doesn’t find a cause they are interested in, you might ask.
Vinoth has been with CTC for four years now. During this period, he has organized and participated in several plantation events in various places like Madambakkam, Asan Memorial College, Adinagar, KCG college, SMK fomra, Perungudi lake, Porur, Gangaikondacholapuram, Perumbakkam lake, Mudichur lake to name a few. He volunteers with passion but it is with much seriousness he explains the importance of plantations – about how pollution adversely affects the health of people and afforestation is the only cure. One can only imagine how infectious and inspiring such passion and knowledge must be for those who get to work with volunteers like Vinoth. You can always count the number of trees one plants but it’s difficult to quantify how many seeds of inspiration one has planted. This, I think, is the true, much needed impact of volunteers like Vinoth.
Since his first plantation event, Vinoth has come a long way as an active CTC volunteer. He has been on treks and taken up cycling, photography and beach cleanups. When asked if there’s something else he’d like to do, he said that he wants to start organizing heritage trips which will make people understand the origin and history of our culture.
This is when it struck me.
We need to simply start somewhere. And we will eventually go where we really want to be.
So the next time you see a plantation drive happening, set a ton of alarms, get up at any cost, bring some friends and come plant some saplings. After all, every tree makes a forest!
And if you see Vinoth planting a sapling somewhere, make sure to give him his well-deserved pat.
About the Author:
Sudha Sanhita is Analyst at work,Artist at home and aspiring to be an Athlete outdoors. She is Passionate in involving herself in Waste and Energy Conservation in the city.