Abul Bashar Meraz – Making Bangladesh green again

Written by Abtahi Tahmid

November 1, 2020

For some, quarantine is a time of sadness, while for others it’s a time for them to enjoy themselves by indulging in various work. But very few of them are willing to change society and help in this critical situation of the world. Certainly, Abul Bashar Meraz is one of them.

If 160 million people plant even one tree, then Bangladesh will turn green again

The fact that trees and forests of our country(not to mention the world as well) have reached a deplorable condition is no breaking news. But the will of recovery, for the good of humanity itself, is bound in mostly school paragraphs or social media statuses. Unlike the rest, Meraz didn’t just sit and complain. He made it his mission to spread as much greenery as he can all over the country.

The thought first came to his mind when he saw paved roads of the rural areas starting to disintegrate during the rainy seasons. This was a regular occurrence, especially where he lived. Not to mention natural calamities like bank erosions were common too. All this, only because there were not enough trees  So he started his journey of solving the problem of inadequate trees with a few of his close friends. The aim initially was only bound to his locality. But then he realized that the problem was not only in his area, the whole country faced it too. So he wanted to expand his work and started small. If trees can be planted along the roadsides of the entire district, then road destruction and river erosion could be prevented- and with this goal, he dedicated his all in it.

He started planting trees and raising public awareness from one Upazila to the next.

Now with the help of other conscious people like him, he has been able to plant more than 2100 saplings in 21 places of 12 Upazilas of Bogra. Through social media, he was able to spread his activity and his vision to the mass population of the country. Soon people from everywhere started to come forward to help him.

The COVID-19 outbreak became a huge obstacle in the face of his work. Being a conscious citizen, he started to distribute masks whenever and wherever he goes to plat trees. He is proud to have distributed more than 500 masks in 10 different villages.

He said “To be honest, we didn’t plant a huge amount of trees, but we still think ourselves to be successful. The biggest success was seeing people being inspired by us. Our first main intention was to inspire people so they can spread this noble work throughout the country and thus contribute to making Bangladesh green again, just like before”

Although at first, he had to use his own money to buy saplings, gradually some nurseries came forward and offered their saplings and plants.

After creating quite a good impact through his plantation program, Meraz decided to do something about the country’s unemployment problem. He made a list of people who are not able to stand up on their own. He gave them the opportunity to renew their lives by providing them materials like Sewing Machines and other tools, even providing them with goats and cattle to start their own farms.

Meraz dreams of a Bangladesh filled with greenery rather than the polluted air of a mechanical, urbanized society. He wants to inspire the young generation and create awareness about the adverse impact of deforestation so that they also come forward in restoring Bangladesh to the scenic natural Eden it once was.

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