Pune's Green Guy

He has been doing his bit for the welfare of mother nature much before many of us even heard about global warming. It has been more than two decades since he started it all, but 53-year-old Raghunath Dhole has shown no sign of slowing down. The reason: he says it’s his duty, and believes it is the duty of every individual as well. And, it all started with a hobby, gardening, when, after taking a voluntary retirement, he started a plant nursery.But his claim to fame, why he is known not only in the city, but also in the entire state is not his gardening skills, but his dedication in distributing free saplings. Dhole does not want to call them free saplings though. He says it’s more like a free responsibility. “I might give the sapling for free, but that does not mean that you ignore it. Giving you a sapling means I’m handing over its responsibility to you,” says Dhole who is passionate about the whole ‘movement’ as he calls it. It all started when he was a youngster. One day he received Rs 5. After spending Rs 3 on a gift, he spent Rs 2 to buy a sapling and planted it near his house. “Watching the sapling grow into a tree filled me with a sense of joy and satisfaction. It was then I decided I would do something like this when I grew up.” Dhole opened ‘Ram nursery’ 23 years ago and since then he has distributed saplings, a whopping 7 lakh across every taluka in the state. “You plant a tree worth Rs 2. In the next 50 years, it gives you returns worth more than Rs 25 lakh.” Dhole explains. “It includes the oxygen the tree gives you in its lifetime, the soil erosion it helps prevent, the air pollution that it decreases and not to forget the wood, fruits and flowers it yields.” So, what kind of saplings does he distribute? “There is a kind of psychology at work here. I always ask people what kind of sapling they want and make it a point to give them that. People will only plant and take care of that sapling they want to.” Dhole explains with an example. “If I give you a rose plant and you already have one at home, you will not plant it. The plant would be wasted. On the other hand, if I give you a plant that you want to add to your garden, you will not only plant it but also take care of it.” Dhole has been wholeheartedly supported by his family in his endeavour. This is evident to anyone who visits the nursery. Visitors are also guaranteed to receive a free sapling. Dhole also receives invitations from organisations and schools where he gives away saplings. Twenty-three years is not a short time. Now, many people know him and his initiative and visit his nursery in Hadapsar if they need a sapling of their choice.Dhole’s aim behind this exercise is very simple. “I want people to know what they can do by planting just one sapling.” Dhole believes planting a tree is like returning a loan. “We have taken a loan from trees around us. The worth of the oxygen they provide is incalculable.”


Anonymous said...

It is really a nice article.After reading it,you understand your responsibility towards environment.

Unknown said...


I want to by Indian BlackBerry(Jamun) Tree and Indian GoosBerry Tree and Amala Tree and need to get it in US. I live in Houston TX. Is there way anyone can help me?


Anonymous said...

namaskar bau,
i read the article,responsibility u r carrying is not so easy one,u r a true "nature friend" now ur life ia a nature,i am with u.

sunil Deshmukh,Abu dhabi.

Unknown said...

Can someone can share his contact details/address. Thanks