People with community consciousness are hard to find.
During the recently concluded Vijayadashmi (Dasara) festival, a Facebook post had gone viral in Kittur and MK Hubli regions of Karnataka. The post was about Dr. Jagadeesh Harugopp who had gifted a “Banni Mara” (Shami tree / Prosopis cineraria) to his wife.
Distributing “Banni leaves” during Dasara is an age old tradition in various parts of India. Though in current times, even that is diminishing and has just remained a symbolic celebration. Hence, gifting a “Banni Mara” during the festival is something that needs a lot of appreciation.
When P4U REPORTER asked Dr. Jagadeesh, the reason behind this act, he was quick to respond. He gave us both scientific and mythological answers.
Scientifically, he said that, this tree is found in extremely arid conditions, where the rainfall as low as 15 cms. Hence this tree grows even in harsh conditions, and even when the environment is alkaline and saline. And simultaneously this tree also indicates the presence of deep water table.
And mythologicaly, he said that, this was the tree, where the Pandavas hid their weapons during exile. In the Mahabharata, the Pandavas are known to have spent their thirteenth year of exile in disguise in the kingdom of Virata. Before going to Virata, they are known to have hung their celestial weapons in this tree for safe keeping for a year. When they returned after a year, they found their weapons safe in the branches of the Shami tree. Before taking the weapons, they worshipped the tree and thanked it for keeping their weapons safe. And the tree also holds a special place in the Mysore Dasara where its worshipped on the Vijay-dashami day.
Such was his insight in gifting the tree to his wife! No wonder people around this region love and respect him as their leader and role model.
Blending in social solutions like these in to our customs and rituals may offer a whole new dimension towards addressing social and environmental causes. Lot of social initiatives like these should be taken and incorporated in our daily lives.
Dr. Jagadish Harugopp is someone who brings together ideas, resources and tools towards finding practical solutions to the problems that have to be addressed quickly.
He is a dentist, an organic farmer, an author who has written novels and poems, an inspiring social worker and also an aspiring politician and a role model for this generation.
Professionally he is a practising dentist at Mayur Dental Clinic, M.K. Hubbali, Belagavi, Karnataka. And socially he has stood for many causes which include organic farming, alcohol ban, community dentalcare and healthcare, rally for rivers, and a host of other social causes.