Over one crore trees lose a dear friend, Rathore passes away
Dehradun: Giving a shock to our oxygen-producing mates, Kunwar Damodar Singh Rathore – the man who was awarded Indira Priyadarshini Vriksh Mitra Award in 2000 for planting over a crore saplings – breathed his last in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand on Wednesday. He was 91.
In the last days of his life, Rathore – aka the ‘Green Soldier’ – faced severe respiratory problems and had difficulty speaking but, he did not part with his friends, i.e. the saplings, till the very end and carried many of them from his nursery to the hospital bed.
During his life, the Green Soldier managed to plant almost 160 species across and around his village.
“His demise is a great loss to the environment. He worked tirelessly for the biodiversity’s development as well as its preservation,” said a senior journalist and Rathore’s long-time friend B D Kasniyal.
- Few days before his death, the physically weak but determined Rathore distributed 4,000 saplings to school kids who paid him a visit at the hospital.
- He founded the Himalayan Green Brigade – an organization which recruited volunteers to plant saplings in their respective areas.
- According to his family members, Rathore was worried about just one thing on his deathbed, ‘What would happen to the saplings he planted if he died?