By Ehsan Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
Prominent members of cricketing community have come out to make Karachi green and joined hands with Toyota Highway Motors in planting trees in a bid to check growing environmental pollution to some extent.
Noted cricketers like Pakistan's most successful outgoing captain Misbah-ul-Haq, spin magician of his time, Iqbal Qasim, former Test opener, Sadiq Mohammed, former Test all-rounder Ejaz Faqih, hockey Olympian and 1984 Los Angeles gold medalist, Hasan Sardar, and ex-Junior and a member of 1979 Junior World Cup winning team in France Jan Mohammed, are among the figures who have planted trees to go all out with the slogan one tree each to make Karachi green.
The latest in series of the prominent sportsmen was Jalaluddin, the man who who had the distinction of accomplishing the first hat-trick in One-Day International against Australia at Niaz Stadiim Hyderabad 32 years ago.
The former Test fast bowler and now a highly quailed coach was the guest of honour to plant a tree on May 13. Among other dignitaries to grace the occasion was the veteran journalist Abdul Qadir Qureshi, the Chief Editor of Jumbo Karachi Guide, who had been promoting Go Green cause through his reporting since he was a junior reporter.
Lack of greenery in this part of the country has been portrayed as a big problem as the governments of today and yesterday showed least interest in developing greenery in the wake of all time high environmental pollution, more specially in Karachi, the world's seventh populous city which is the business hub of the country but far behind in greenery concept.
While other organizations have had limited success to meet national expectations in this regard, Toyota Highway Motors, just a few kilometers from Sohrab Goth (Zero Point) on Super Highway, has come out with the daunting task to share the mission to make Karachi Green and to slightly remove the stigma on this once city of lights.
Having set a target of planting 5,000 trees as initial count for their mission, the company’s CEO Shujaat Sherwani announced that they provide one plant free of cost to each of their car buyer.
As part of the mission they introduced a unique concept of inviting Pakistan's sports legends to promote the slogan of Green Karachi.
This slogan started with Pakistan's most successful test captain Misbah-ul-Huq who was visibly moved by the idea and highly appreciative of the same while planting a tree along Super Highway, followed by other legends.
With carrying out the mission of this Green Slogan, Shujaat Sherwani extended warm reception to the eminent visitors, also awarding them attractive shields besides paying them tributes for their services and bringing fame and name to Pakistan.
"It has always been my passion to honour sporting legends and be a humble promoter of Go Green and this has doubled my enthusiasm,” he observed in a brief speech on the occasion. Maintaing their tradition officials of the Toyota Highway Motors led by its CEO Shujaat Sherwani, General Manager Sales and Marketing, Shad Ali Khan, Ahsan Sherwani, Manager Sales, Irfan Zaidi, gave a standing ovation to both Jalaluddin and Abdul Qadir Qureshi.
Giving his reaction, Jalaluddin said initially he was reluctant to come for a visit here because of lack of information, but now he was highly impressed with the missionary zeal being exhibited by Shujaat and his team for a noble cause besides extending a true respect to country's legendary figures.
"Go Green is a great concept and our country badly needs to overcome the serious problem of environmental changes which is risking the lives of millions of Karachiites. I am highly impressed to see lots of trees having been planted already,” he complimented.
He described it a great mission and said that the one-car-one-tree was certainly a unique and novel idea to promote the cause.
He said that he felt himself proud for planting a tree here and he will come again to see his plant having grown as a big tree consuming pollution to some extent.
Shujaat Shewani appreciated the services rendered by Abdul Qadir Qureshi in the domain of journalism through his positive reporting skills and regretted that presently positivity was on the way to extinction with negativity having taken strong roots.
The veteran journalist, in his speech, enlightened the gathering by sharing his experiences, particularly those related to coverage of various Presidents and Prime Ministers during their visits abroad.
On the occasion, Shujaat Sherwani presented a Max Dirt Track official shirt to Jalaluddin which is designed to promote newly developed world class track in Hub on Sindh-Balochistan borders. He recalled that Captain of 2009 World T20 winning team Younis Khan also attended the Max Dirt Rally and took a round of track and complimented the organizers for promoting this popular sport.