08/03/2020, 15.36
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Mausaid Catholics heed Laudato Si’, plant trees

by Sumon Corraya

Some 605 fruit trees – guava, lemon, quince, gooseberry and grapefruit – were planted yesterday in parish villages. For BCA secretary Hemanto Corraya, during the coronavirus pandemic, people came to realize how badly they behaved towards nature.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) – A total of 605 fruit trees – guava, lemon, quince, gooseberry and grapefruit – were planted yesterday in villages in Mausaid parish with the local pastor, Fr Chanchal Hubert Pereira, as the guest of honour.

“We responded to what our Holy Father asked us in Laudato Si', namely to take care of our land. Hence, we are planting trees,” said Dominic Ranjan Purification, a Catholic, president of Mausaid Christian Multipurpose Cooperative Society Ltd (members pictured).

Speaking to AsiaNews, Ranjan Purification said that some coop leaders recently decided to plant a tree to celebrate Mujib Year[*]. The country's Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, also called for planting trees.

In December last year, the Archbishop of Dhaka, Card Patrick D’Rozario, announced that Bangladesh Catholics would plant 500,000 trees, in line with Laudato Si’.

“Overall, we feel the need for plants in our villages to save the environment and create a green common home,” Ranjan Purification said.

All the members of the Cooperative Society call on members and others to encourage their families to plant at least one fruit tree at home and follow instructions.

“If any member of our Coop Society responds to our appeal by planting trees, we will give them priority in our Cooperative loans,” Ranjan Purification explained.

Fr Pereira likes the Coop Society’s initiative. “It seems that tree planting is very timely, commendable and essential to our parish,” he said. “I thank those who undertook this initiative. They responded to the Pope’s appeal, which could be successfully implemented. I thank them.”

The parish priest also said that the Catholic Church is also planning to plant around 500,000 trees, a process that will start soon. A few days ago, organisers met for this purpose.

Home to about 620 Catholics, Mausaid parish is located on the extreme edge of Dhaka. New manufacturing plants have set up shop in the area, accentuating urban sprawl. This has led to the cutting of trees. As a result of this, Catholics now realise that tree planting is essential.

Patrick Purification, head of the Bangladesh Catholic Students Movement (BVSM), Hemanto Corraya, secretary of the Bangladesh Christian Association (BCA), and other Mausaid parish leaders attended the event. They too welcomed the tree planting scheme.

BCA secretary Corraya told AsiaNews that during the coronavirus pandemic, people came to realise how badly they have behaved towards nature.

“If we plant trees, we will get a greener land. We need to respond from the heart to Pope Francis' appeal,” he said. “I think that the appeal to take care of our common home is very timely and appropriate.”

[*] In 2020-2021, Bangladesh marks the centennial anniversary of the birth of the country’s founder, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

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