Anaesthetist Thomas V Scaria's patience and care have finally paid off, though in a completely different domain. Today the wilted saplings on the HMT Road divider in Kalamassery are shining in green only because of the timely care given by the doctor for the past six years.
The apathy of the authorities concerned in maintaining the median saplings on the HMT Road gave a jolt to Dr. Thomas while he stumbled upon a Malayala Manorama report in 2015. Realising the senselessness of the officials, Dr. Thomas single-handedly decided to give a touch of fairy dust to the strip replete with wilting plants. Today around 200 tree saplings and plants thrive in full splendour along the median, thanks to the doctor’s tending till date.
The Kalamassery-HMT stretch was the commuting point for the anaesthesia teacher working at the Sree Narayana Institute of Medical Sciences in Manjali. Seeing the dying saplings daily during his drive from Eroor, where he lived, to the college was heartbreaking and this instilled a firm resolve in him to revive the green strip. His undaunting efforts started to bear fruit and soon the brown vegetation manifested into beautiful leafy glory, with the right amount of water and manure.
Dr. Thomas was steadfast in taking up the mission as the councillors of Kalamassery turned a deaf ear to his SOS calls. Without any hesitation, he drove to Kalamassery all the way from Tripunithura municipality, where he resides, along with labourers to nourish the plants. The unused municipality pond, which was built by pumping lakhs of rupees, near HMT Road proved to be a boon for the initiative.
“Though the authorities gave directions to use water from the pond to nourish the shrubs with the help of water tankers and assured to foot the bill for the expenses incurred, they failed to keep their word,” said Dr. Thomas. Yet, the undeterred doctor continued his green cause with a zest for the past six years with the help of two labourers by shelling out around Rs1 lakh every year.
Tending plants is not a new-found fad for the doctor. The credit for growing and maintaining greenery along the one-and-a-half-kilometre stretch from Eroor bridge to Arkkakadavu railway overbridge also goes to Dr. Thomas. "Well, this initiative could not have been possible without the support of residents' associations, several philanthropists and institutions,” he noted.
Dr. Thomas's relentless commitment to society doesn't end here. He is also active in helping cancer patients and procuring study materials for students belonging to financially backward families.