While begging is highly discouraged in a commerce-driven society, a group of young men are doing exactly that in an organized way to save the world. But, instead of begging for money or food, the organisation titled Vumisantan Bangladesh (Children of the Land Bangladesh) is begging for trees.
In tree fairs we typically see stalls for selling saplings. But Vumisantan Bangladesh has been setting up stalls in Sylhet division's tree fairs since 2014 to beg for saplings from the visitors coming to the fair.
Vumisantan Bangladesh collected nearly one thousand saplings during the tree fair organised in Sylhet in August this year. Members of the organization planted the saplings in different educational institutions in Sylhet throughout the next month.
On September 1, the members of Vumisantan started planting the saplings collected at the fair with a program in Khadimnagar Prafulla Patra Primary School. On September 17, they planted 115 different type of trees in Sylhet Government High School.
Since its inauguration, the organization has planted around 5 thousand trees in different areas of Sylhet.
Dr M Sharif Uddin, professor of Agroforestry and Environmental Science, praised the initiatives of Vumisantan Bangladesh. He said, "Begging for trees is a great initiative. It encourages many people to plant trees."
"This sort of programs should be launched around the world to save the environment. We have to be careful to not harm the environment in any way in our efforts to develop our civilization," said Dr M Sharif.
Vumisantan was created by 14 young men in 2012. They first started begging for saplings in the tree fair held on the bank of the Surma River in August 2014.
From the very beginning, their tree collection program garnered great response. In the first two years, the organization planted 1,300 saplings in the Ratargul swamp forest.
Members of Vumisantan roams around the Sylhet city with an appeal to donate trees. They also go to different educational institutions to invite people to join their program, which brings in students and general people in their initiative.
The volunteer tree planters' work does not end with planting the saplings. They take care of the trees throughout the year. They also organise programs to urge people not to fell trees and to encourage them to plant more trees.
In another laudable initiative, the organisation presents tree saplings to the guests at marriage ceremonies.
Ashraful Kabir, coordinator of the Vumisantan Bangladesh, said, "Begging is considered a social disease. But we beg for our environment. We beg to live on. This begging is meant to awake people by startling them."
"The world is getting warmer. Climate is changing so rapidly that our survival might be threatened very soon. One of the primary ways to come out of this crisis is to plant trees. Vumisantan encourages general people to buy and plant saplings," said Ashraful.