Home Global Village PTI catapults plantation drive with distribution of seed laden pencil

PTI catapults plantation drive with distribution of seed laden pencil

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News Analysis |

In its drive to aware masses of the increasing need of plantation, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf came up with an innovative idea and distributed special ‘pencil with seeds’ in Karachi on Sunday. The pencils were distributed among the school going children as part of the Imran Khan’s Million Tree Tsunami campaign in the port city.

The concept is unconventional; instead of asking children to reach out to a nursery, fetch some seeds, bury and help them grow, PTI has simply distributed the pencil which has a degradable capsule that contains seeds of cucumber, lady finger, brinjal, spinach, and coriander.

The process to grow a plant is simple. Kids can use the pencil as other ordinary ones and when it finishes, they can simply bury it. After proper care, the used pencils – which are otherwise thrown into bins – can transform into plants. Through the campaign, not only the public acknowledges the importance of plantation, in the wake of climate change, but they are provided with an easy method to help, play their part.

Recently Bilawal Bhutto, the Chairman of PPP, claimed to have set the Guinness World Record by planting over 1 million mangroves in a single day, on an island near Keti Bunder in Thatta district of Sindh.

The novel idea was originally pitched by students – Mario Bollini, Lauren Hernley, Steven Keating, Benjamin Judge and Benjamin Peters – at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) in 2012, however, Copenhagen-based firm, Sprout World, purchased it and started commercial production of pencils in 2014.

The rising sales of pencils confirm that the unique concept is resonating with the masses; in 2015 the company sales hit $2 m. The top corporate firm like Disney, Ikea, Marriott and Bank of America are all among the clients of Sprout World, buying the pencils in bulk as a gift-bag novelty.

Read more: KPK shines and so does Pakistan: Billion Tree Tsunami Project

According to estimates published by MIT, 14 billion pencils are made from more than 60,000 trees each year and when the pencils become too small to write or are discarded, their remaining parts go waste. Contrarily, the Sprout World pencil turns into a plant within 1 to 3 weeks and with the burgeoning threats of climate change, the pencil serves the cause of saving the ecological order after having helped the students in their studies.

Coming back to the Pakistani landscape, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is the first political party to have taken up the idea. A demonstration was also given to the students by Arif Alvi, the central leader of the party, in Qamrul Islam School, Punjab Colony, Karachi. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman, Imran Khan, has yet to launch the pencil officially, however, the test run apprised the PTI leadership of children’s sound knowledge about pollution and environment.

The process to grow a plant is simple. Kids can use the pencil as other ordinary ones and when it finishes, they can simply bury it. After proper care, the used pencils – which are otherwise thrown into bins – can transform into plants.

PTI’s Billion Tree Tsunami

After assuming power in 2013, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has been constantly engaged in different projects related to the environment. The most noticeable initiative by the party, which arguably is the biggest ever project in the eco-history of Pakistan, is the Billion Tree Tsunami, by which the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government planned to plant a billion trees in the province and finally achieved the target in 2017.

Although the critics of PTI have been casting aspirations over the transparency of statistics quoted by KPK government, what gives credence to the claims made by PTI Chairman, Imran Khan, is the findings of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Read more: A greener KP: Imran Khan pays tribute to the billion tree…

IUCN confirmed in 2017 that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the first sub-national entity to register with the Bonn Challenge for the restoration of forest in KP; it is also the first entity in the world to complete the challenge in half the planned time. Mr. Zhang Xinsheng, President of IUCN, in his special message said that the KPK government restored 350,000 hectares of forest.

The documents furnished by KPK government, while quoting a monitoring report of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) confirms that 2412 seedlings per hectare have been regenerated in the province. Moreover, the officials concerned with the project cite a WWF finding that 1,060 plants were found over one-hectare land, in line with the goals set by the government.

The most noticeable initiative by the party, which arguably is the biggest ever project in the eco-history of Pakistan, is the Billion Tree Tsunami, by which the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government planned to plant a billion trees in the province and finally achieved the target in 2017.

The project has claimed lives of 10 personnel while 5 sustained injuries; one worker permanently disabled during fighting against fire, land mafia and timber mafia. Another indication of the project’s success is that the federal government has also launched a “Green Pakistan Program” by which it plans to grow 100 million plants in next five years.

Read more: Margalla Hills engulfed in fire and illegal encroachment

Inspecting the vigilance of political parties towards the environment, only PTI stands up as triumphant. Although Pakistan People’s Party’s slain leader, Benazir Bhutto, had included the environment in her 5E program along with Education, Energy, Employment and Equality, yet no substantial effort was made after the victory in 2008 elections.

Recently Bilawal Bhutto, the Chairman of PPP, claimed to have set the Guinness World Record by planting over 1 million mangroves in a single day, on an island near Keti Bunder in Thatta district of Sindh. However, PTI is the only political force that has pursued the cause of environment with letter and spirit, the ‘seed pencil’ is another symbolic proof of its dedication towards the environment.


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