A man’s love for trees
It is heartening to learn from a report by The Daily Star on December 9 that a farmer named Md Abdul Wahid Sardar in Jashore has been removing nails from billboards, banners and signboards from the trunks of roadside trees since July 2018. Until now, he has removed 250 kilogrammes of nails from 22,000 trees. The 57-year-old man has also been planting trees since 2006. He has planted about 20,000 fruit and medicinal plants in different places of Jashore town, including mosques, temples, police stations and road intersections, with his own money.
The story of Wahid Sardar is very encouraging, particularly at a time when influential people all across the country have been destroying the environment—cutting down trees, razing the hills, polluting and grabbing rivers—for petty self-interests and financial gains. In the recent past, the country has faced many environmental disasters, such as cyclones and land erosion, the effects of which could have been minimised by planting more trees. The lack of greenery in the capital is also taking a toll on people's health. Amid such a situation, Wahid has set an example of what can be done on a personal level to save the environment.
Many of us may not be aware of the Graffiti Writing and Poster Sticking Control Act, 2012, according to which it is illegal to put a billboard on a tree, because like many other environmental laws, this law is also not enforced. Surprisingly, Wahid Sardar not only knows the law but also has been making people aware of it. This law should be strictly enforced by the authorities concerned, including the forest department, and there should also be specific guidelines about where billboards and posters can be put up.
We hope Wahid Sardar's mission to plant and save trees will encourage others to do the same. We believe that there are many people like him amongst us who, with some encouragement, can take up similar endeavours and play a vital role in saving the environment.