How the Love of Plants Won This Daily Wager the Environment Protection Award
C C Kannan, a 54-year-old daily wager, was so mesmerized by the sight of beautiful flowers in a garden full of blossoms, that he decided to make a garden of his own. He found a barren space near a road and started planting seeds and saplings and his joy knew no bounds when vibrant flowers burst forth on bright green young plants. He then started planting fruit trees along roadsides and paddy fields. This soon became a habit and patches of green started appearing at barren places. He came to be known as the ‘green warrior’ and was also bestowed with the 25th P V Thampy Memorial Endowment Award for Environment Protection. Kannan is also recognized for his efforts to instill in kids a love for nature by visiting schools and anganwadis and distributing saplings. However, he met many hurdles and disappointments on his path. Kannan reminisces that when his first garden flourished and bloomed, it was a sight to behold. However, the widening of the road led to the tender and delicate blossoms giving way to tar and gravel. Though Kannan was disheartened, he switched to planting fruit trees like mango, rambutan, guava, and papaya in open spaces by the road. Once, with great effort and love, he planted many such saplings on the side of a road and to his dismay found them all uprooted the next day. That is when he realized that it is very important to instill a love for nature in people, especially children. So he decided to involve others in planting saplings on campuses of schools and government offices. He would collect seeds and saplings from kind-hearted people and distribute them to teachers and students. He would also guide them to care for and nurture the plants. Having experienced the special joy of watching new leaves sprout, Kannan states that he is not doing that for any sort of recognition or monetary benefit. It's just that he wants others to experience that joy.