NEW DELHI India
million is a humungous number. When this number represents
new trees planted all over India, it becomes very
significant on UN World Environment Day, 5 June, writes Swami
Anand Kul Bhushan.
has been made possible by an Osho disciple, Swami Prem
Parivartan, more popularly known as Peepal Baba.
He has been planting trees since the age of ten.
He has planted over 20 million shade trees in the past 40
He is the founder trustee of ‘Give Me Trees Trust’, an
environmental NGO devoted to planting trees.
He considers planting trees as a celebration of life and
an essential part of his spiritual journey, inspired by his
Here are excerpts from his conversation:
Twenty million Trees More than 7,000 families are
associated with this environmental charity.
It is their sweat and tireless effort at keeping the
young saplings alive and providing the young trees
protection till they are independent and self-sustaining.
Early life I was born as Azad Jain in 1966 in Chandigarh.
My father was serving in the Indian Army as a Doctor
which meant moving from one military station to the other
every two years.
At a very young age I got to travel and a lot and
understand my country and the environment around me.
At school When I was at school in Kirkee Military
Station, near Pune, I had a wonderful geography teacher
named Mrs. Williams.
She inspired me to plant trees.
In 1977, at the age of ten, I started planting trees and
planted my first tree on Range Hills Road at Kirkee Military
Today, I am 51 years old and have planted over 20 million
trees across the country.
Journalist: I completed my post-graduation in English
Literature in 1988 and a post-graduation in Journalism in
For 13 years, I worked with newspapers, media agencies
and corporate communications with multinational companies.
I left the corporate sector on 31 July 2003 to take to
planting trees as a full-time work.
Why Peepal? I had been planting Peepal trees (Ficus
religiosa or Sacred Fig) in large numbers and gradually came
to be popularly known as Peepal Baba.
My focus is on planting shade trees instead of ornamental
or landscaping trees.
Our work is totally carried out by volunteers.
Our network of friends and celebrities across the country
helps us plant and maintain saplings even in remote corners
of the country.
Environment Push: I made home in Delhi as my base.
Here, I established a small plant nursery and started
teaching children, college students, families who came
visiting, about tree planting, environment, soil
preservation, waste management, recycling, water harvesting,
composting, organic farming through an organization named
Osho Paryavaran Paathshala (Osho Environment School).
Social Media helped me to reach out to more people across
Today, I have more than 10,000 people connected with me
in the digital world.
I have volunteers from remote mountain villages to
We connect with our volunteers through our website
Much Neglected Environment has been a much-neglected area
of positive action. As an Osho disciple, I always felt that
if I have to do justice to my Master, I have to plant trees
and get other people to do likewise, for the rest of my
Whenever I visit Oshodham in New Delhi or Pune Commune,
the trees ask me if I am doing what I should be doing.
They talk to me and after some rest at these meditation
facilities, I return to enroll more and more nature lovers
to plant along with me.
Plant Less Preserve More In a water scarce nation like
India, it is important to have an army of volunteers who
take on the responsibility of watering the young tree
saplings and helping them survive for at least two years.
Ideally, we get the volunteers to take an oath of
protecting their young trees for a minimum period of three
This is the reason that we have been able to achieve
Plant less and preserve more. Except Kerala, we have
planted in every state and union territory of India.
Positive action Creating micro forests for our cities,
tree clusters, and green belts and engaging communities and
school children, is the only way forward, if we wish to keep
our air and water worth consuming.
Push by Celebrities who are our ambassadors, and lovingly
contribute for our tree planting work include, Bollywood
actors John Abraham and model and actress Diana Penti, top
cricketers like Gautam Gambhir and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, TV
actors and anchors, Radio RJs and celebrities like News
anchor and author Richa Anirudh and popular RJ Rahul Maken.
The hero of new movie, Pramanu, John Abraham, is
committed well-wisher who donated his motorbike some years
ago for me to travel all over India.
It is high time for the Osho disciples to take charge of
positive social action.
We have to bring Osho into the lives of people with
positive action like a tree planting movement across the
country with a message to reconnect with our roots by
Tree Meditation Camps My romance with Osho started when I
was 10 years old.
I had the first glimpse of my Master in 1977, when I
first visited the Pune commune along with some relatives.
A Master crafts his disciple in miraculous ways.
Osho destroyed a lot of things around me and
re-engineered my life.
Sannyas changed my gears from within and gave me the
strength to take steps to pursue my hobby of planting trees
across the country.
Secular Subject People easily connect with trees. It is a