One a driver, the other a cop... their common passion? Conservation

Saheb Singh, a retired driver of DTC, at work
By Akhilesh Pandey
Photo: Akhilesh Pandey
Posted: Jun 12, 2018

If you happen to visit the neighbourhood parks of Sector 7 in Dwarka, you would find two men either watering the plants, preparing the soil, planting new saplings or combing out the weeds. And they do it every day without fail.

For Saheb Singh, a retired driver of DTC or Delhi Transport Corporation, and Mahavir Singh, a serving Assistant Sub Inspector of Delhi Police, it’s perhaps the best way to grow in a city.

Every day, they fill plastic cans and bottles with water from Palam Village, lug them on their bicycle and scooter and tend the plants in Sector 7 park across the street lined by housing societies such as Brahma, Harsukh and Rashi Apartments.

Saheb Singh, uses his cycle to transport water. Since he is retired, he can manage his time. Since policing is Mahavir Singh’s day job he often juggles his time to meet his plants. He has a kidney ailment to boot, but he has never missed his date with the plants. “Every day I water about 250-300 plants and trees. When I have night duty, I feel happy as I get more time for the plants,” he says.

Saheb Singh carries 6 five-litre bottles and 14, two-litre bottles on his bicycle. When he runs out of water he requests neighbourhood societies for a refill. Since Mahavir uses scooter he gets larger bottles of 20 litre capacity.

We have been taught early that humans and environment can have a symbiotic existence, but people like Saheb Singh and Mahavir Singh have taken it to a different level inspiring the neighbourhood communities.

In Sector 22 and 23, Sukh-Dukh-Ke-Sathi, a social organisation, is using a car to do the same. Parminder Khetrapal, who thought of the idea, says his 150-litre tank with a pump installed in the boot of his car can cover a larger area. “We start in the morning and water the roadside plants and we have been doing this since last one year,” he says.

There are others like Bhagat Ram from Palam village and Narender Kumar from Sector 7, who have been combining morning walks with plant-watering activity. Even children have pitched in. The park near Kamakshi Apartments in Sector 6 is looked after by two children—Manansh and Anaisa, who join their father Ashwani Sharma to water the plants.

Mostly people have been watering the plants early morning. According to environment expert PK Datta, in hot months, specially May and June, the most preferred timings for watering the plants are before 8.30 am or after 5.30 pm. “If this method is adopted it will save approximately 30 % of water otherwise water will get evaporated,” he warned. He had another valuable tip: “Watering activity should be planned according to sunny and shady locations during the day, which alter with the movement of the sun.”

TAGS: Sector 7 / Dwarka / Palam Village / Brahma / Harsukh and Rashi Apartments / Watering plants / greenery