This Tamil Nadu man turned 100 acres of barren land to an indigenous forest

D Saravanan dedicated 30 years of his life, sweat and dreams to what we today call Aranya Forest and Sanctuary

By DTE Staff
Published: Monday 06 June 2022

This is the story of D Saravanan, a true environmentalist at heart. He dedicated nearly 25 years of his life to turning barren land into a green luscious forest spread over 100 acres. It is now known as the Aranya Forest and Sanctuary in Poothurai village, Tamil Nadu.

Born into a small farmer family near Villupuram district in Tamil Nadu, Saravanan always had a special connection with nature. At the age of 14, he participated in the 100-day march for the ‘Save the Western Ghats’ rally which deeply influenced his path in life.

After being active as an environmentalist in his youth, Saravanan took up the project in Auroville in 1994. With the help of the residents, students and the local community, Saravanan decided to grow a 100 acres of land into an indigenous forest.

It was not an easy task, from bringing water into the land, nourishing the soil, collecting rare local seeds, fighting poachers and planting thousands of trees on barren land. Saravanan dedicated 30 years of his life, sweat and dreams to what we today call Aranya Forest and Sanctuary.

Thanks to his exemplary work and dedication, the forest has 700 species of indigenous plants like Diospyrus melanoxylon, Gloriosa superba, Memecylon umbellatum and Derris ovalifolia.

The forest is also home to six human-made water bodies and pristine ravines. Saravanan now dedicates his time to planting more trees, taking care of the forest and providing education to the local community and students about the importance of indigenous forests.

A true environmentalist at heart, Saravanan truly believes that we are just the caretakers of the earth and when it is time, it is our responsibility to hand over this planet to the next generation.

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.