‘Captain Planet Bangladesh’ is working to protect the environment
Afshar Memorial Secondary School locates in Ponnabaliaya, an isolated township in Jhalokati Sadar, Bangladesh. On a rainy morning, members of a voluntary organization crossed the Sugandha River and appeared at that school.
All of them are wearing the same color t-shirt and raincoat. They distributed seedlings of mango, jam, jackfruit, guava, litchi, Sharifa, Safeda, and Malta among more than three hundred students.
The name of this popular voluntary organization of Jhalkathi town is ‘Captain Planet.’ All of the organization’s hundreds of members are tree lovers. Samsul Haque alias Manu, a local businessperson, is the head of the organization.
Not only the Afshar Memorial Secondary School in Ponnabaliaya this year, but the organization’s initiative has also distributed 10,000 fruit seedlings of various species to 25 schools of Sadar Upazila and ordinary people.
Captain Planet’s journey began two years ago. However, the president of the organization, Samsul Haque, has been distributing fruit seedlings among the students of various educational institutions for a long time.
He aims to distribute 10,000 fruit seedlings of different species every year. Half of it consists of improved mango seedlings. In a short time, the seedlings bear mango. The saplings he gave have already grown. These trees have started bearing fruit in the homes of many students.
Captain Planet collects fruit seedlings from various nurseries in Swarupkathi in Rajshahi, Rangpur, and Pirojpur before the planting season every year.
The saplings distributed ten years ago among the students of Ichanil Secondary School in the Ramnagar area of Jhalkathi Municipality are now bearing mangoes.
Rafiqul Islam, a farmer in that area, said, “My son Samsul Haque planted the mango seedlings distributed by his brother at home.
That tree has been producing mangoes for three years. Not only in our house but in many houses in the area, the fruit seedlings he gave are growing and bearing fruit.”
Abu Sufian, head teacher of Bikna Government School of Sadar Upazila, said, “Samsul Haque distributed more than three hundred mango trees among the students of our school. His program has increased the interest in plantation among the students.”
Jahangir Hossain Khan, Headmaster of Afchar Memorial Secondary School of Ponabalia Union, said, “The school students at home have enthusiastically planted the fruit trees distributed by Captain Planet. Many trees distributed earlier by Samsul Haque Brother have now started bearing fruit in this village.”
Sakil Howladar, a member of Captain Planet, said that every year during the monsoon season, the organization’s members, under the leadership of Samsul Haque Brother, participated in the distribution of tree saplings.
Fruit trees are usually distributed to remote areas by a trawler or speedboat. Besides distributing tree saplings, Samsul Haque has a genuine love for birds. Every year during the winter season, the organization distributes leaflets and campaigns in Char (Island) areas to stop the hunting of migratory birds.
He has built a bird sanctuary at his residence in the Kathpatti area of Jhalkathi. On the cornice of the roof of the house, there is a wooden house for birds. There are earthen pots on trees, flower gardens, and fruit trees. Birds nest there.”
President of Captain Planet Samsul Haque said, “The objective of our organization is to build a green belt. Distribute fruit seedlings among the students. It provides both fruit and oxygen. Birds nest in trees. Birds eat that ripe fruit. Village people can also eat native fruits.”
Ziaul Islam, District (Range) Forest Officer, said, “Every year, tree saplings distribute in Jhalkathi Sadar by the Forest Department. However, this year they don’t distribute plant saplings free of cost. As Samsul Haque distributes trees annually, some pressure on the forest department almost reduced.”