Tree man stays strong on his mission

Deepak Ramesh Gaur has been colloquially acknowledged as world’s only ‘Green Crusader’, for having ignited green movements after he recovered from a deep coma. People around him recognise him as the ‘Tree Man’.

A resident of DLF, Gurgaon, Gaur, 37, was just another carefree man till 2010. He was working as an independent advertising and public relations professional. But destiny struck its cruel blow. Gaur met with a near-fatal accident and slipped into coma. He remained in coma for nearly three months and was confined to bed for the next nine months.

“Doctors had little hope for me They told my parents that I have a very slim chance of survival. But thanks to the prayers of my friends and well wishers, I bounced back to life,” he says.

According to Gaur, during those nine months he did a lot of introspection, “on the purpose and meaning of life”.

Gaur was brought home from the hospital in a vegetative state, he couldn’t see or move. “My brother took me to the basement and I stayed there for the next few months,” Gaur tells Metrolife.

Recovering gradually, in his seventh month, Gaur asked his physiotherapist to take him out into sunlight. “When I was out, I saw a tree. It was as if a new born baby had seen a tree,” says Gaur. It was during this time he “had philosophical revelations about the importance of conserving our habitat.”

He tells Metrolife that he had never imagined thinking of a tree as a “selfless being”. But today, he associates trees with everything and has developed a sort of “manic attachment” towards them.

Individually, he has initiated many movements to start his own green drive in various places. “I earn nothing through this,” he says.

He adds new concepts within the movement like the concept of celebration of ‘Birthday of Tree’. His ‘Freedom Series’ was launched on August 15, last year when he called people to “gift a tree to your motherland (Bharat Mata ) as she has tasted blood of many freedom fighters.”

He also launched the ‘Devotion Series’ with which he has an emotional connect as he dedicated that series to his father who passed away recently.

While there are many who are passionate about environment and who plant trees for this cause, but Gaur’s concept is that he does not “plant trees”, instead he says he “gifts” them. He may gift it to a person or to the Earth. He formally organises small events in schools, colleges, puts up stalls at exhibitions that are held in Delhi-NCR region for the purpose. Even on festivals like Diwali and Christmas and events like birth and wedding anniversaries, he gifts trees urging people to do the same.

This year on World Environment Day he started the ‘Symbolic Tree Plantation’ to kick-start the green drive with a new concept of “friendship and humanity via greenery”.

Gaur was this time supported by Panasonic, to help him organise an activity at Sukrali Village in Gurgaon.

“Surely God must have had some reason for bringing me back to life,” he averred. “And then I came up with the idea about environment preservation and start ‘Gift a Tree Network’. In a way the accident was a blessing in disguise as it gave me a new purpose in life,” he says.

Till date Gaur can’t speak, move or see properly. But he wants that his cause to live on. “I keep doing new things because I am afraid people will get bored of my ideas,”
he adds.

“If you give tree water and take care of it, it will not only give you ‘oxygen’, it will give ‘oxygen’ to everyone equally. I link this nature of trees to dharma in Hinduism,”
he says.

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