November 11th, 2011
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One boy army

Special Story/ Niranjalli Varma

environmental conservation, special story, niranjalli varmaSeated on the first bench of IX C classroom of Cherukkunnu Higher Secondary Welfare School, is a 4 foot 11 inch  scrawny little bag of bones, clad in a simple school uniform, bearing an indecisive half smile and an unassuming countenance.

Let not appearances dissuade you, for the 14 year old Sanoj K S, is an inspired soul on a mission to conserve nature. At the age of 13 his school, the media and the government recognized his efforts. In a short span of one and half years, Sanoj had planted and tended to 1000 mangrove seeds that have sprouted into young saplings. He was presented with the ‘Gems of Seeds’ award of Mathrubhumi, presented to him by the former Education Minister M A Baby and Minister of Forestry Binoy Vishwom. Yet after capturing immense accolade, he displays no nonchalance.

In the midst of the mangrove forest, Sanoj transforms into a bright, chirpy, excited boy with twinkling eyes, hopping about talking effortlessly like a veteran botanist about the venation, pollination, scientific name, use and even folktales associated with the various species of mangroves.

Inspired by his Prabhakaran ‘mashe’, the zoology teacher in charge of Eco club, and his schoolmates Abdulla and Ashwin, Sanoj felt an ardent desire to make his own contribution. Being the youngest son of a fisherman living beside a river the fact that mangroves prevent soil erosion and offers protection from thunderstorms and even tsunamis, fascinated him. Thus armed with mangrove seeds rowing a boat Sanoj took up the venture of planting mangroves on the river bed.

His teacher recollects,” He is a very smart boy. He came to me with this great idea of planting mangroves. I just gave him few books to read and may be added fuel to his desire. The entire school is proud of him and his achievements. He is like any other boy in this school but what he does, his thought and motive is surely special. He even takes classes for teachers as well as students on mangrove cultivation, now.”

A born admirer of nature, sitting on the branches of mangroves, listening to the chirping of the birds, he feels at home cradled in the tranquil lap of nature.  In an indifferent self indulgent world, where most children are glued to computer games, its young proactive children like Sanoj that gives respite to troubled minds, for they hold the key to the worlds future.

One Response to “ One boy army ”

  1. lakshman varma

    nice article, iam sharing it.


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