A Kerala hospital has much to celebrate about this World Environment Day. Its policy of 'one baby-one sapling' has given life to thousands of trees besides giving babies the hope for a clean environment.
The Matria Hospital for Women and Children has recorded the birth of 15,000 babies since August 2010 when it started operations. Along with each baby, the hospital has given a sapling to the parents of each child as a goodwill gesture for the save environment initiative. This was the brainchild of Doctor V. K.Kutty, the owner of the hospital.
When the hospital was being built, a good number of trees were cut down and that was not liked by his mother Kadeeja Nediyil. She asked her son to plant more trees in compensation, but her son went a step further and decided to hand over one mango sapling to every woman who gave birth in their hospital.
A mango sapling is handed to the family, when the new mother gets discharged after the baby is born.
"A good environment is a must for good health. That's why we have taken up this initiative. We want a child to grow up in a healthy and clean environment. Planting saplings is not enough. People have to take care of it until it becomes a tree," said Doctor Mohamed Kasim, Executive Director, and the son of Kutty.
Six years ago, the family of Faizal Abdulla, a native of Kanhangad in Kasargod district welcomed Zeina Tanash, born at the hospital, by planting a mango sapling at their home.
The sapling has now grown into a tree.
Zeina is so excited to see the first mangoes and she posted a picture of the first mango on the tree, which according to the hospital authorities has been plucked and she has kept it for ripening.
Sugesh Devu, consultant gynaecologist at the hospital, said they are happy to be part of happiness in somebody's life.
"They are taking home not one but two 'babies'. They are enthusiastic about the idea of having a little plant growing alongside their babies," said Devu.
In the past one decade among those who have gone back with their babies and mango saplings are popular film personalities Asif Ali, Sayanora, Anjali Menon and Harish Kanaran.
Had it not been for the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospital would have by now announced a get together of all the 'babies' in August, as it celebrates its first decade. Now they are waiting for the situation to improve so that they can bring all the 'babies' together.