‘A true servant to environment’ losing hope;
Casual and non-cooperative behaviour of neighbours, authorities mars his enthusiasm
Abdul Khaliq, 55, son of late Adalat Khan who has a commitment to the environment seems all desperation and hopelessness complaining the callous and discouraging behaviour of his neighbours as well as the CDA as no one has extended any sort of help in his mission of ‘going green’.
A resident of House No. 37-B, Street No.76, Sector G-6-1/1, Islamabad has been serving the environment, his dead mother and the motherland all at the same time through a passion of his that he developed four years back. He has grown 250 plants in his street all alone and takes care of them single handedly.
Talking to INFN he shared his inspiration by saying, “I have been working in Pak PWD as Electrician in grade 6 and my salary after a service of 26 years has reached Rs 15000. My mother’s death a couple of years back became inspiration for me as I was unable to take care of her in the way I should have done during her life time.
I thought of a way by which my surroundings, my deceased mother and the motherland can all benefit. Then I started growing plants in my house as I recalled that my mother had once planted a rose in the small yard of my house. To make her soul happy, I planted nearly a dozen plants in my house. Then the passion grew in intensity and today I have planted more than 250 plants in my street.”
When asked by INFN regarding the response he meets from his children he shared, “My children, two boys and two girls who are all studying and I have to bear the expenses of their studies were reluctant to support this costly hobby of mine. However, they changed their minds too after they got to know about the noble purpose for which I am doing all this.”
“Every month I plan to save some money from my income and on weekends I visit the nurseries myself in search of plants and buy the ones I like. I love to see the plants grow in size and I feel they are smiling for me when colourful flowers bloom on these plants,” he said smilingly.
“Few years back there was a huge waste bin placed by the CDA right next to my door. I got it removed by sending repeated applications and finally replaced it with a charming flower-bed. The street gives a soothing look to all the residents and I am very glad,” he added.
“I have asked all the people living in my street and those living in the neighbouring streets only to put empty pots in front of their houses and I will put fertilized soil in them to grow plants out of my own pocket,” Abdul Khaliq told INFN. “I do not have any greed or vested interest. I want to see my street, my city and my motherland neat and clean,” he confided.
When asked about any formal training or education of gardening he said laughing, “I have no formal education of gardening. I have read in grade-8 a book about agriculture (Zara’at) and I still remember some information from that book. I got the remaining information from the nurseries that I visit as I ask as many questions as I can and use that knowledge to apply on my plants.”
“Despite devoting my precious years for the sake of environment I have got nothing. My neighbours have recently asked me to remove plants in front of their house that I planted from my own pocket money. I am very disappointed and demoralized and I have neither been able to win cooperation and respect from my neighbours nor has CDA extended any help whatsoever. Is this the price one has to pay for loving one’s motherland and the environment in this country?” He asked complaining as tears were rolling down his wrinkled cheeks.