Berhampur: A picture board firmly placed at the front of his bi-cycle and a tin box on the carrier, a 40-year old man pedals from one village to another in Odisha`s Ganjam district, educating people about the benefits of planting a tree.
Purna Chandra Acharya`s "one man, one tree" slogan has struck a chord with people, who are only too eager to hear him out. He could also convince them to vacate the villages before Phailin hit the Odisha coast on October 12.
Unflustered, he was back on the muddy tracks the very next-day, pedalling alongside the trail of destruction left behind by the very severe cyclone Phailin.
"My green mission has assumed significance after the cyclone, which caused extensive damage to natural forests in the district. The strong winds denuded several areas of their green cover, turning them into barren patches," he said on reaching Berhampur recently.
According to forest department sources, 78,712 trees in forest areas and 50,000 in urban areas were uprooted in the cyclone.
Acharya has covered 25 worst-affected areas in the district in the last one month.
"I advice every individual to plant at least one sapling," said this school drop-out. He starts on his mission early in the morning and pedals around 50 km daily, before returning home in the evening.