Gurukar is old school

Mr K R Gurukar, roadside tree planter, is pucca old school.  He vetoed an offer by well-wisher K N Sreenivasa to get him a cargo tricycle or at least, allow him to suitably modify his bicycle for carrying  with ease saplings and his planting-kit . Mr Gurukar believes in self-reliance ; would not accept help from others for something he does  for personal satisfaction. He is the type that spends from his monthly pension to pay  for saplings he plants on public space.  Shouldn’t  the forest dept.  give  saplings free  for Gurukar’s cause ? But then he  wouldn’t put in a request in writing. And, in govt.  nothing moves  without paper work.

Getting people to gift saplings to Mr Gurukar is no big deal,  if only  would let us help him to make a common cause of the work he has been doing,  all by himself,  for so many years. He doesn’t realise he has an image to be projected, and to be built on –  the image of  selfless public service with a touch of green.   Self-help green groups can be promoted with Mr Gurukar’s  help.

Persuading Mr Gurukar to play ‘brand ambassador’ took  some doing. I sat him in front of my computer to show how a blog post or facebook account can be used to spread the word on him and his work. And no one who has read about Mr Gurukar on the web has remained untouched. I read  out to him online comments from folks in and away from Mysore, offering help.  His work has made arm-chair tree-lovers among us to sit up and take note. Vrikshamitra Gurukar has helped us put life back into the Friends of Roadside Trees (FORT),  the blog that has been in limbo for some months now. FORT is  now on facebook.

Mr Sreenivasa’s offer to do up  his bike can come in handy, insofar as the cargo-hold on Mr Gurukar’s bicycle can be painted green and used as message board.  A few other ways in which we can help Gurukar to further the green agenda:

1) Sponsor printing of periodical news-letter,  publishing Mr Gurukar’s work in progress,  and also bilingual – Kannada and English – version of environment-related blog posts.  Copies of the news-letter can be made available at places where Mr Gurukar takes up tree-planting work.

2) A Friends of Gurukar Society can be set up to mobilise  residents associations at mohallas, apartment complex and newly developed layouts to support neighbourhood tree-planting programme. Local green activists such as Snake Shyam can be invited to join this effort.

3) Can draw up a summer camp schedule for  groups of students to join Mr Gurukar in planting.

4) Mr Gurukar could be invited by schools to address their students on ideas such as vrisharchana and saplings to mark special occasions.

Incidentally, our green man has acquired a cell-phone  in response to our plea.  It is a gift from his son.  Mr Gurukar is available at 9740877615.

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5 Responses

  1. Hello sir , thanks for the update. One of our masthmysore user has come forward to help Mr.Gurukar financially for gettings saplings and tools. Can we help him by anyways ?

    • Thank you, Mr Kanthraj, It would be a good idea if we coordinate/channelaise our efforts to help Mr Gurukar in ways that 1) promote public awareness of tree-planting through Mr Gurukar’s work; 2) prioratize what needs to be done; and 3) most importantly, in a manner that does not in anyway displease him.
      Priority, as I see it, is to ready his bicycle with a suitable cargo hold. He would want a carrier that is not too heavy for him to pedal (he is nearly 70)..One idea is to customize a carrier stand and cargo box in strong bamboo ( they even make bamboo bicycle frames in some countries). We could explore this possibility in bamboo bazaar.
      Maybe we could carry forward this threat on facebook page – Friends of Roadside Trees. http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=115304868502670&ref=ts
      Meanwhile I would set up a meeting with Mr Gurkuar and other interested well-wishers in a few days. Would that be okay, Mr Kanthraj ?

      • Sorry for that typo. The word should be read as ‘thread’ , not ‘threat’.

  2. Sure sir .. Guide us how to proceed which doesn’t displease him. Am sure many will support us. I will put a post regarding the meet . Will see the response and will get back to u sir.

  3. […] and to be built on –  the image of  selfless public service with a touch of green. writes GVK Linked by Pattu. Join Blogbharti facebook […]

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