Yoganathan: The conductor who planted 3 Lakh trees over 25 years

       Marimuthu Yoganathan is popularly known as “The Tree man of India” and he is an Indian environmental activist. He was born in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India in 1969. In the last 25 years, he has planted more than 3 Lakh trees across 32 districts of Tamil Nadu. He did this in order to help develop an Eco-friendly environment. He is currently working as a bus conductor in Coimbatore. It’s very rare that we get to see such a rare combination!

Marimuthu Yoganathan planting a tree
Yoganathan with school children


He started campaigning against the cutting of trees in Nilgiris in the early 80’s and after that, he never looked back. Yoganathan told ‘The News Minute’ that “On my weekly off ,Monday, I plant trees in all educational institutions like schools, colleges and universities.”

He organizes various environmental awareness programs and plantation drives and has also visited 3,000 schools across the state. In fact, he wanted every sapling planted by a school child is named after the child. He told the weekend leader,

When I ask a child to plant a sapling, I name the plant after the child. Suppose if Ramu plants a Pungai (Indian beech) sapling, I would name it Ramu Pungai and ask the boy to treat the sapling as his sibling and give it water daily.”

Marimuthu Yoganathan with sapling
Marimuthu Yoganathan

In his 17 years of service as a bus conductor, he has been transferred 40 times due to his frequent absence from work. In his defense, he stated that he never takes leave for his personal reasons.

He has received numerous awards for his contribution as an environmental activist including an Eco-warrior award, a state department award, a CNN-IBN real heroes award and a Periyar award.


We are proud of Marimuthu for his commendable work. We salute him for what he does. Furthermore, we hope that more people get inspired to plant trees!



five + 19 =