This is the account of the great humanitarian and environmentalist Bhagat Puran Singh of Pingalwara. More famous for its astonishing work with the destitute, homeless, sick and rejected, Pingalwara in 2006 bought some 35 acres (140,000 m2) of land near Jandiala, 20 km from Amritsar. There is an organic farm. Fresh fruits and vegetables are grown there without using pesticides.
As a senior civil servant of Punjab, DS Jaspal had held several important administrative positions in Government. During a posting as administrative head of Punjab’s department of Forestry, he was inspired to start a project of identifying the many Sikh shrines named after species of trees, a fact singularly unique to the Sikh religion. After extensive research and visiting every shrine, he documented nearly 60 shrines that are commemorated by the names of 19 species of trees. The book includes photographs of the shrines, with the tree in the foreground, accompanied by a description of the botanical features of the tree and its relationship with the historical and religious background of the shrine. Tyrst with Trees is now being made into a documentary by the eminent Pakistani film maker, Dr. Farooq Beg of Serendip Productions, Islamabad.