Two teachers from S.N. High School, Perla, Kasargod successfully create a forest on sixteen acres of land

This successful effort made by teachers from Kasargod district to convert sixteen acres of barren land on a hill behind the school into a lush, green forest with thick patches of vegetation demonstrates how persistence and a deep commitment to bring about positive improvements in the environment through community effort can bring about positive results.

Shree Padre ji, better known as the rainwater man for his pioneering work on farm journalism and documentation of traditional water harvesting methods for water conservation takes us to this school to meet the two teachers.

Forest perla        A view of the forest developed by Shivkumar and Prakash, Perla

Shivkumar, the Headmaster of the S.N. High School at Perla in Kasargod district and Prakash, a teacher at the S. N. High School always noticed the vacant and barren mountainous land just behind their school premises and often wondered of doing something about it. This is how they gradually came upon the idea of planting trees on this piece of land that extended to about sixteen acres.

They came upon an idea and decided to plant trees available with the forest department with the help of NCC students from their school. Initially school students were involved and later the community was also involved to form a plant club that contributed by planting trees. However, it was not an easy job as just planting trees was not enough. Care had to be taken to see that the planted trees survived as the land did not have any compound and it was easy for anyone or even animals to come and eat the plants.


    Shivkumar and Prakash in the forest they have developed

They initially started with Gliricidia plants that act as natural protectors of the soil and were useful for converting infertile soil to good quality through soil building. Once the quality of soil improved, it was found that other types of trees such as Colocasia, Banyan started growing, which gave them the indication that the quality of the soil had improved and that the forest was now getting gradually established. The whole initiative took them ten years and the results speak for themselves. Their hard work and persistence has paid off and the barren area has now been converted into a lush green forest with occasional very thick patches of vegetation.

Teachers1Shivkumar and Prakash observing the trees they have planted

Recently, they have also started growing amla and cashew trees successfully on a small section of the land and they plan to start an open air school and an open air theatre in the lush green shade of the forest that they have developed over the years.

A more detailed article by Shree Padre is at this link.


The author is extremely thankful to Shree Padre ji for providing an overview of the water and agricultural issues in Kasargod district and introducing her to Shivkumar and Prakash and their effort.

Shivkumar and Prakash can be contacted at the following addresses:


S N High School, Perla

P.O Perla 671 552

Kasargod, Kerala

Telephone: 04998 226477

Mobile: 09496424368

Prakash Bhat

P.O Perla 671 552

Kasargod, Kerala

Telephone: 04998 226477

Mobile: 09447692728