54-year-old cancer patient donates land for forest
Chengannur: Even 13-year-old cancer could not deter the Karakkadu native Shaji from fulfilling his age-old dream of creating a man-made forest. He donated his 10 cents of land to an environmental organization for this noble cause.
Even though Shaji's body is swollen up from chemotherapy treatment, his passion and love for forests remain unchanged from what it was 36 years ago. His affair with the woods started way back in 1983, when he was doing his Bachelor’s degree from Panthalam NSS college. He was deeply moved by a poem written by D Vinayachandran’s ‘Kaadinu njan endu peridum.’ From that day, he was determined to protect and nurture forests even when everybody else was encroaching them.
Although his efforts to create a forest in his father’s property turned futile, Shaji did not give up his dream. Even years of work in foreign soil could not dampen his spirits.
He returned home once the irritation he felt in his stomach started spreading all over the body. Upon further medical tests, the doctors diagnosed Shaji with cancer. He has been undergoing treatment for the blast 3 years.
However, the 54-year-old's spirit was reignited when he came to know that the students of his daughter’s college, Chengannur Christian College, were planning to create a man-made forest. He immediately contacted one of the faculties of the college, R Abhilash, and expressed his willingness to contribute his land. Although his family were not in favour of the decision initially, they had to finally oblige as he was too stubborn. His family wanted to fund his medical expenses by selling the land.
The forest will be made by Birds club international, with the help of Jayaraj Foundation helmed by director Jayaraj, who inaugurated the planting of trees the other day.