You must have heard about ‘Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). But, have you ever heard about ‘Individual Social Responsibility (ISR) meaning ‘Individual Social Responsibility? This means that an ordinary person should fulfill his responsibility towards society and the environment on a personal level. Just like Dharmendra Kar, a ‘Green Warrior’ living in Navi Mumbai, is doing all his responsibility towards the environment. He has started this unique concept, under which he is not only bringing positive changes in society and the environment but also motivating others to do the same.
Dharmendra, who works as a data scientist at Tech Mahindra Company, is originally from Jajpur block in Odisha. Dharmendra, who grew up in the midst of nature since childhood, understands his responsibility towards nature and society quite well. He says, “Problems should start from the root. We blame the government and the administration for any problem but never understand our own responsibilities. Seeing the pile of garbage on the streets, we blame the Municipal Corporation but, have we ever noticed the waste coming out of our homes? If we all start by ourselves, we will be able to solve many problems. ”
Dharmendra has been working on this responsibility for almost 20 years. He is constantly working for the environment, handling his job and household responsibilities. He has worked extensively not only in Mumbai but also in his block in Odisha. Talking about his journey, he said, “I stayed outside Odisha to work after studying. But, because of this I cannot forget my responsibilities towards my people. Every year I take 15-20 days off before the rainy season, go to my house and plant trees with people there. Many of our saplings are being used for the society by becoming trees today. ”
Planted more than 5000 trees
Dharmendra has been planting saplings continuously in his village and adjoining areas for the last 20 years. He explains, “In the beginning, I myself used to plant and take care of the empty spaces around my house. Gradually more people started joining this work. Now our team has become very big and every year before the rain, we choose some place and prepare for planting. All the work is done with the help of people, from bringing plants, to planting them. ”
He has planted more than five thousand trees in Odisha so far. Almost all the trees they planted are safe. They say that planting saplings is beneficial only if you take full care of them. If you do not take care of them by planting plants and they dry up then there is no use. Therefore, wherever he goes, he also makes others aware and sensitive to nature. He is especially engaging the youth in this work so that in the coming time, they should fulfill their responsibilities towards the environment well.
He has also planted more than 500 trees in a high school at Mughal and Madhuban in Jajpur block. A lot of people are connected to him through social media too. Ripun Joy, a resident of Bamadeipur in Jajpur, says, “I am connected to Dharmendra ji through social media. Their work is commendable and inspired by me and some of my colleagues together, have planted more than a thousand trees and saplings in our village and are taking care of them. ”
Dharmendra further says, “I did most of the work in Odisha till 2014-15. Subsequently, I came to know about the government’s cleanliness and water campaigns, which impressed me a lot. I felt that I have some responsibility for the area where I live. Therefore, I started a plantation in Mumbai as well. ”
He started a plantation drive in Kharghar, Navi Mumbai in 2016 and by the year 2020, he has planted more than three thousand trees and saplings here. He now regularly looks after these trees and plants and is preparing for this year’s plantation drive. He explains that the pre-monsoon season is the best for planting saplings. Therefore, they plant saplings well before the monsoon.
He says, “My way of working is very simple. I start with myself. If I see garbage somewhere, I clean it myself. If trees and plants are seen by the withers on the road, then I take care of them too I always plant saplings on campus and then take care of them, even during special events in my company. ”
New life is given to Lake Kharghar
Apart from the plantation, he has also played an important role in reviving Kharghar lake. Dharmendra explains, “I went to the ‘Dadar Beach Cleaning Drive’ in 2018. We cleaned the beach. But then I started to think that why don’t we think of working on a small scale? Dirt in the sea reaches only through river rivulets, lakes and ponds. Therefore, we should pay attention to their cleanliness first. We should start from the foundation so that we can solve the problem completely and hence, I started focusing on the Kharghar lake. The condition here was very bad. ”
In the year 2018, Dharmendra pioneered the cleanliness of this lake. Another of his companions, Amarnath Singh, also joined him in this campaign. Both of them used to spend two hours every Saturday and Sunday taking out the garbage from the lake. They knew that this is not a day or two of work but, they did not think of retreating.
Amarnath Singh says that people dumped garbage on the banks of the lake. But, when he started cleaning, many more people came forward to share his hand. Seeing his hard work, the municipal employees of the area were also impressed by him.
Amarnath told, “Hundreds of people joined us on sight and after two years of continuous efforts, this lake finally became clean and clean. Along with cleaning the lake, we also planted saplings. Also, requested people not to throw garbage here. ” His work has also been appreciated by the Ministry of Water and Dharmendra was awarded the ‘Water Hero 2020’ award.
Dharmendra invests 20% of his earnings every month for all these tasks. He says that this is his ‘ISR’ principle that he will give 20% of his earnings and two hours of time every day to society and environment at his level. He says, “Whatever work I am doing, it is not for others but for me.” If I plant trees, I am getting clean air. If the water sources are clean then I will get clean water. If biodiversity increases, a balance will be created, which will be very beneficial for human life. ”
Now he constantly makes a ‘seed ball’ with his teammates. So far, they have made nearly one lakh ‘seed balls’ and put them in different places so that the greenery can grow. From all over the country, many people like him are associated with him. Taking these people together, they have formed a ‘Super 30’ team so that people can start such campaigns at different places.
In the end he says, “If you have understood your responsibility then you will not have to depend on anyone else. So start with yourself. Because, when we all perform our responsibilities well, then the changes will start coming on their own. ”