Let’s move beyond symbolism

On 21th of March people were supposed to celebrate yet another special day- “The World Plantation Day”. Different quarters of our society took symbolic steps for plantation. Press statements were issued, seminars were conducted, pictures were uploaded on facebook etc.

In Kashmir Nawruz marks the start of plantation. The festival is celebrated widely and it brings the start of a new season for farming. Planting trees is not only important with regard to livelihood and environment but religiously as well. Planting trees is a sunnah of Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and it’s reward continues even after the death of the person who plants the tree. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) has said whoever plants a tree, reward will be recorded for him so long as it produces fruits. If a Muslim plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird or a person or an animal eats from it, it is regarded as a charitable gift for him (Imam Bukhari).

It is needless to speak of the importance of trees. It is not possible to describe the importance and uses of trees in world. They are part and parcel of our day to day life. We cannot think of our existence without trees. We can live without food and water for few days but not without air even for a minute. Trees are the prime source of oxygen we breathe. Rabindranath has rightly said “Back the forest, take your town”.

Though we are born as humans but unfortunately many among us have turned as monsters for environment. Today the world is facing many environmental problems like global warming, ozone depletion, pollution etc. All these problems are the result of our own deeds. And solution to all these problems lies in planting more and more trees. Though it is wonderful that plantation day was celebrated in schools and other institutions, however mere symbolism is the irony of the present world. Such days should not be limited to mere photo sessions, but should mark as our deeper commitment to environmental protection and human welfare. The need is to take concrete and active steps towards social problems and move beyond symbolism.



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