Swami Prem Parivartan is a postgraduate in English literature from the University of Poona.
In 1984, he was initiated into Osho's neo sannyas.
Parivartan completed his second Post Graduation in Journalism and Communications from the University of Poona in 1989. He started to work for the Print Media and the Corporates as a writer-editor for 13 years before moving on to become a green activist and take to tree planting as a full time fervor.
Based in Delhi, India, he travels all over the country to make efforts at spreading awareness for planting trees. He delivers talks and lectures to villagers, community gatherings, students, institutions to create awareness towards importance of planting more and more trees.
Shady roads lined by trees are the dream of all citizens. But apart from this, the citizen also needs some place to sit in the open to watch the world go by. Surrounded by cement and asphalt, he must, if he is to retain his sanity, be able to find a place where his feet touch the good earth, where he can see and smell flowers, hear insects and birds, and feel a clean breeze on his face. In the old days there used to be many such oases in every city. Today there are hardly any and the city dweller can pass weeks without seeing or feeling the beauty of natural forms.
We tend to believe that any land which does not have a structure on it is wasted land. We calculate the rupees per square meter which the land could fetch, and feel it is an extravagance that land is only being used for trees and to give a breath of fresh air to the city. These are our values. That breath of fresh air is a thousand times more important than any structure. Indeed, our effort should be to enlarge and multiply the parks and open spaces in a city rather than nibble at them and finally destroy them.
A few parks do still exist in many cities, but it is obvious that the city takes little pride in them and grudges the space they occupy. There is a continuous effort to take away the corners of the park for other purposes.
For many people who live in cities, the municipal park is the only place where they can be close to natural forms and textures. City authorities ought to be lavish in effort as well as money to keep the parks in the best condition, to ensure that whoever enters them shall have a truly pleasurable and uplifting experience. The permanent features should be grass, shady trees, and if possible water, while the impermanent features should be the changing forms and colors of seasonal flowers.
Apart from the major parks, tiny islands of well kept greenery can also be helpful in soothing the nerves and tempers of the populace. Some cities have tried the experiment of allowing industries to take over and maintain traffic islands as small gardens. This is an excellent scheme - it saves public money, gives the city a pretty although small plot of greenery. However, every city has hundreds of of untidy, unutilised spaces which tend to become rubbish dumps or where people put up huts or rusty tins, and squat. These places could easily be cleaned up and planted and the overall effect on the city would be miraculous. Imagine a city which has plenty of parks, big and small, and plenty of trees, where all the streets are clean and you will find that it is automatically beautiful.
Chandigarh, is one such city in North India. It has the highest number of trees in proportion to its population. It is the greenest city of India. Not that it has skyscrapers or the best shopping malls in the country...it is just that it has a lot of tree lined avenues, parks, well- kept traffic islands that give a soothing and charming look to the entire city.
Greenery helps in meditative practices. It soothes our nervous system and makes it easier for us to be silent within. Communes created in the lap of nature are doing very well. Oshodham meditation facility near Delhi is one such living example. Thousands of trees themselves have created a magical energy center. Nisarga Meditation Resort in Himachal Pradesh is another example of the miracle which greenery surrounded by mountains can create. It just pushes you within. It would take a lot of effort in a city or a five star hotel to gather yourself, but in such places as Nisarga you have no option but to be with yourself. Oshodham and Nisarga are some of the beautiful places to sit in the open to watch the world go by...