A Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation bus conductor has garnered support on social media platforms, for his outstanding contributions to the environment.
Marimuthu Yoganathan has planted nearly three lakh saplings in the last 30 years, using the money he earns. He has received the 'Eco Warrior' award from Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu, and 'Unsung Hero' award from wildlife film-maker Mike Pandey and film actor John Abraham.
"My request to have the award sent to me by post was declined. I was concerned about the train fare, the days taken for my leave, and accommodation costs in New Delhi. But, I'm glad I received the award in person from none other than the Vice President of the country," said Yoganathan.
He became an internet sensation after a Twitter user shared his picture, holding a sapling.
He was recognised by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who called him inspiration. After the cm's tweet, several people praised Yoganathan for his efforts.
Yoganathan has visited nearly 3,743 universities, colleges, schools and industries, to spread awareness about environment conservation. "I visit schools every Monday to create awareness among students about planting trees," ANI quoted him as saying.
He has been conferred with the title "Sutru Suzhal Seyal Veerar" by the Tamil Nadu Government.
Seeing his dedication, a man from the US donated 3 acres of his land where Yoganathan works daily after duty. In addition, he gives free saplings to passengers on his bus.
Various people praised Yoganathan for his consistent effort towards the future.