Ashraf Hasan has a rooftop garden which he loves more than himself. One morning, he was in for a shock when he saw his favourite rose buds crawling with bugs.
"In fear of the rose blossoms dying, I immediately called someone for help who came and took them away. After a week my plants were safely returned to me, all healthy and blooming!" said Hasan.
Just the way a sick person may get admitted to a hospital, receive treatment for a few days till they cure, there is a service in town which do the same for sick plants.
This unique new service by the Plant Hospital saved Hasan's roses. Although people in general do feel the need for treating their plants, they do not know where to go. This service can come to the rescue of affected plants.
Plant Hospital is situated at Agargaon, near the Department of Environment. They have 24 doctors with diploma in agriculture who offer their services for plant treatments. Anyone in need of treatment for their plants can bring them in here.
When anyone calls the hotline number, they listen to the problems carefully. If possible, they suggest necessary treatment over the phone. If the situation demands an emergency response, two of the doctors visit the ailing plants and treat them.
Under their mobile hospital services, a team of agriculturists often roam around the capital to provide on the spot treatment to plants.
The organisation also provides a day care facility for plants where owners can keep their beloved greens for a day at only one taka.
They also have plant ambulance servicves which pick up sick plants and return them home after they are cured.
Doctors for trees or Plant Hospital, founded by Ahsan Rony, is one of the main projects of Green Savers' Association who provide treatments to sickly and dying plants and trees.
Sajedul Islam, a plant doctor at this hospital, informs that there are numerous diseases which may affect the plants. For example guava, lemon, or mango trees can be attacked by lily bug, a white worm living under the leaves. A hibiscus plant can be attacked by white flies, another kind of worm. Vegetables can be attacked by fungus. The hospital tries to rid the 'patients' of the problems."
Mijanur Rahman is another agriculturist in the organisation. He said, "If anyone asks for our roof top gardening service, we visit the space to become sure about the measurement and capacity along with water supply condition, temperature etc. Then we plan for the garden according to the owner's choice of plants."
Among other initiatives, Green Savers' Association has set-up 380 oxygen banks at different schools in collaboration with DOE, Save the Children, ActionAid, Practical Action and FAO where students save money for gardening and make their own gardens with the help of the Green Savers team.
Operating the mobile plant clinic with the help of Dhaka North City Corporation is another initiative that Rony is working on.
"Trees are living things just like us so they too catch diseases and require treatment. We give them medicine and care so that they live," said Ahsan Rony.
Through its plant hospital the organisation wants to establish that in this era of deforestation, soil erosion, and urbanisation, planting trees and looking after them with care is the only way to lead ourselves to a greener future.