Daripalli Ramaiah- Journey from mad man to Padma Shri

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Daripalli Ramaiah

We all are aware about the global catastrophe of pollution, over population, food scarcity and deforestation. We hear about them all the time. But how many of us had really come up with the ideas and techniques of limiting this over usage? May be many but not enough. Still when we hear stories about people who are working hard for nothing but just a social cause, inspires us in a way that our minds are left with a thought- “why not we?”. One such man among the crowd is Daripalli Ramaiah, who despite of being called as a mad man focused on only what he wanted to do.

Daripalli Ramaiah also known as Chetla Ramaiah or Vanajeevi Ramaiah, born in 1937 is an Indian social worker known for his social forestry initiatives. He was born in Reddypally village in Khammam district, Hyderabad and had his schooling till 10th standard only. Though he has no formal education, he had read several books on seeds and plants that now he himself can be considered as an encyclopedia for the same. His relentless hard work of more than 5 years, even he himself didn’t know when he started, has turned out to be a campaign which led him to achieve Padma Shri- the fourth highest civilian award in India. Since his childhood Daripalli is dedicated towards collecting seeds and in his weird aim of covering all the infertile lands. For him collecting seeds is a way of human well-being. This is his way of contributing towards growing deforestation. His dedication towards his goal is so pure that he even sold his 3 acre land to buy more seed and saplings.

“Of all the species that consider the Earth as their home, the most exalted is the human being. He supposedly has intellect, can think, can do and can get things done. Nature has bestowed her choicest blessings on this form of life. Therefore, we have a duty towards nature. Protect the nature; protect everything created by God, for the posterity” says the Padma Shri awardee Daripalli Ramaiah .

Daripalli Ramaiah is a man who didn’t cared about anything else apart from his mission to accomplish the green and clean world. He is remembered as a man whose pockets are full of seeds and whose bicycle is loaded with saplings by the local people. His undying love for nature took him to achieve awards such as Seva Award in 1995, Vanamitra Award in 2005, National Innovations and Outstanding Traditional Knowledge Award in 2015 and Padma Shri in 2017. Whenever Ramaiah see’s a barren land he takes out a seed from his pocket and plant a tree and this way today he has planted more than 10 million plants! But what do he get in return? His reward might not be materialistic and mighty but provides something more meaningful than that. Satisfaction and contentment is exactly what Daripalli Ramaiah gets on seeing the plants grow around him long and green and the hope that one day wherever his eyes see, will be a land covered with beautiful trees and the air so fresh to breath.    

People called him mentally unstable for carrying seeds and saplings all the time but today “Daripalli Ramaiah” is a Padma Shri awardee. He collects seeds from wherever possible and plants them in forest. The Padma Shri awardee has planted over 1 crore saplings till now. Daripalli Ramaiah is an inspiration for many and mad for others, but he is a man who today has done what we only imagine of doing. We wish him luck for the his journey miles ahead and hope that his dream of a world full of trees comes true someday.

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