To honour freedom fighters and soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for the country, Dileep Kumar Sikandar, a 54-year-old man from Bihar, has claimed that he has planted around one lakh saplings at Brahmyoni hill in Gaya since 1982.
Speaking to ANI, Sikandar said, "I have been doing this since 1982. Every day, I come here to plant new saplings and tend to the trees. I have named the trees after freedom fighters and martyrs."
The 54-year-old man, during his childhood days, used to visit Brahmyoni hill area for picnic.
"During my childhood days, I used to come here for picnics. One day, I asked my father why the hill had no trees. He quoted a proverb to say that hills were without trees in Gaya. Then, I decided to turn it green."
"I have planted saplings in the name of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Mahatma Gandhi, Rani Lakshmibai, Veer Kunwar Singh, Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Lokmanya Tilak. Now, I have also started planting saplings in the name of our soldiers who had laid their lives for the nation," he said.
He further said that he was awarded once by the state government for his efforts, stating that during Bihar's Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi's visit to the area, he had demanded to declare the hill as forest area, but nothing happened. Sikandar also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to focus on environment protection.
"I was handed a citation by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi in Patna for my work regarding the environment. I suggested the government to make this area a protected forest but I have not received any response in this regard," he said. (ANI)