Mahatma Gandhi loved tree very much. We know it by seeing his all ashrams in India and abroad. He planted many tree in his ashrams and recommended for it to who lived in ashrams. In his speeches and letters, He always spoke and wrote.
All religion is presumably in response to the human aspiration or need. Religion is some irresistible binding force. The cow was a peremptory need and we had cow-protection in India. Digging of wells where water is scarce is a religion. It would be ludicrous to dig wells where the water supply is inexhaustible. Similarly whilst tree plantation would be superfluous in, say, Travancore, in some parts of India it is a religious necessity. Such a place is undoubtedly Cutch. It has a beautiful climate but some parts threaten to be a desolate waste unless there is proper rainfall in them. Rainfall can be almost regulated by deforestation or afforestation. Cutch needs conservation of every tree and every shrub. The most pleasant function therefore that I was required to perform in Cutch was the planting of these trees and inauguration of a tree planting and protection society. The enterprise was due to the genius of one man. His name is Jaykrishna Indrajit. Gujarat has very few specialists. Of these Sjt. Jaykrishna is among the most distinguished. He is a lover of plant life. He is the author of an accurate work on the fauna and flora of the Barda hills in the Porbunder State. He is now forest officer in Cutch and is trying to interest the people of Cutch and the State in forestry. He believes that with judicious plantation Cutch can be turned into a land flowing with milk and honey. He is of opinion, and I venture to share his belief, that the parts which the wind ruins by turning them into sand heaps can be turned into gardens if its inhabitants will pledge themselves
each to plant and rear so many trees per year as they buy and keep cows. Whether all the alluring promises which he makes can be realized or not, there is no doubt that Cutch needs tree plantations on a large scale. It is wicked waste to destroy a single tree in Cutch for firewood. The State should import all the firewood or coal that it may need. It should be criminal to cut down a single tree in a place like Cutch. I hope, therefore, that the society established in Mandvi will open branches all over Cutch and, by co-operation between the people and the State; it is possible to cover the land with thousands of trees within a short time. At little expense the inhabitants of Cutch can make an immense addition to its wealth and beauty. They have a capable enthusiast to guide them. Will they have the sense and the energy to follow his guidance?
What is true of Cutch is almost equally true of Kathiawar. This land of immense possibilities is cut up into small States, each possessing sovereign powers with more or less limitations. There is little or no co-ordination between them. The people, therefore, in this little compact peninsula, though having everything else in common, are governed by different heads under different laws. The conservation of forests, systematic plantation of trees, irrigation and many other things cannot be properly done without a common policy. I reproduced some time ago the opinion of Mr. Elmhurst that, if the chiefs and the people of Kathiawar did not evolve and follow a common policy of tree plantation, Kathiawar was likely to suffer from a water famine of such magnitude as to make life impossible in that land of fine soldiers that once were. In Cutch, Kathiawar, Rajputana, Sind and such other places a study of practical botany should be compulsory in all schools. And the princes can do worse than encourage in every possible way the habit of planting and rearing trees.
Gandhi wrote a letter to Sudhir Ghose on dated 18 July 1944 that I have seen your letter to Pyarelal and Nargisbehn1 too. Do come whenever you have the time and wish to see me. Mr. Elmhurst I know. I think I had the pleasure of meeting him once. He visited Sabarmati Ashram when I was not there and then he expressed the opinion that the babul plantation there was the best conceived and most useful. Apart from any other interest I would like to meet him, if he would come and is allowed to come to me.
Leonard Elmhurst, an agricultural economist and an educationist, who was a close associate of Rabindranath Tagore, and Agricultural Adviser to the Government of Bengal from 1944. He founded Sriniketain, the Rural Development Institute of Santiniketan. Elmhirst was returning to England after completing an assignment “to work out a development plan for harnessing the water resources of Bengal”.