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Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Tree Loving Doctor

This doctor makes his rounds every morning between 6.30 and 8.30. He points out a fissure fracture, and quickly calls for some help to fashion a bandage. He binds the split ends of the branch and then waters the tree. This is one of orthopaedic surgeon Dr M Partha Sarathy's many green patients.

Over the last two-and-a-half years, the good doctor has planted and tended to 400 trees in Adyar, Thiruvanmiyur, Valmiki Nagar , Kaveri Nagar in the city and Seliyamedu , near Puducherry. "People talk of global warming but don't go out and do anything about it," says the doctor who runs Modern Orthocare in Indira Nagar.

"I only plant trees that are strong, have long life, provide shade and are useful to society. They should impede neither traffic nor pedestrians," says the doctor. So he finds areas with wide roads - like Indira Nagar - and plants trees along the roadside, "not the platform , for then people can't walk" . "Just planting a tree and taking a photo with it is a very immature act. If you want to grow a useful, healthy tree, you need to be willing to spend Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000 per tree and two to three years tending to it till it becomes stable and strong," he says.

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