The newly born Tarumitra began with a few activities which included a five day workshop on ” How to paint trees, fruits and flowers”. Then Fr. Robert was transferred to Kodaikanal in South India and got disconnected with the group for a year.
However, the turning point of Tarumitra occurred in April 1989. Four Loyola High School boys, Anindo Banerjee, Vijay Mathur, Sanjay Pandey and Jayant Chatterjee, decided to organize a cycle-survey of North India from Patna to Delhi. On their way, they planned to meet the ordinary people in the villages and gather first hand information about the condition of the environment in North India.
With the blessings of the Cyclists’ Association of Patna, they set out to Delhi, via Jaipur and parts of Himachal Pradesh. On reaching Delhi, they presented their findings to Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma, the then Vice President of India, who granted them an hour-long audience.
While on their way back, they halted at Agra because Jayant fell ill probably due to strenuous cycling. Anindo, Vijay and Sanjay rushed him to the hospital, but it was too late, the doctors declared Jayant dead on 22 April 1989. Jayant’s untimely demise, shocked not only his parents, who had lost their only son, but also all the members of Tarumitra, L.T.S. and those associated with them.
After they recovered from the shock, Jayant’s companions in Tarumitra made it their sacred duty to tell others of the honest commitment of their comrade. His willingness to undertake an arduous journey in order to tell others to protect the Earth and the supreme sacrifice of his life has provided a soul for Tarumitra. Since then, Tarumitra has grown around his sacrifice. In fact, Tarumitra named the first environmental painting competition after Master Jayant Chatterjee.