1. Success Story

Meet the Tree Man of Kashmir Who has Planted Over 2 Lakh Trees & Aims to Reach 1 million by 2030

Abdul Hamid Bhat has planted over two lakh trees in Kashmir's arid plains, with a goal of planting one million trees by 2030. He has now partnered with Sher-E-Kashmir Agriculture University to reach his goal.

Kritika Madhukar
Abdul Hamid Bhat has reformed a desert-like area into a beautiful forest
Abdul Hamid Bhat has reformed a desert-like area into a beautiful forest

Abdul Hamid Bhat, 56, is from Srinagar. Bhat began as a scooter mechanic and is now the proprietor of Rahim Motors, one of Srinagar's largest vehicle workshops. He is popularly recognized as the Tree Man of Kashmir for planting over two lakh trees in the valley's desolate areas, with plans to increase to one million by 2030

Besides being a business mogul, his ambition has always been to construct green areas in the Kashmir Valley. According to a news report, he invests a significant portion of his revenues from the vehicle industry in a venture named Rahim Greens.

Bhat stated that he had planted over two lakh trees in Kashmir's arid plains, with a goal of planting one million trees by 2030.

Sutharan woodland in central Kashmir's Budgam region was decimated by lumber traffickers after thousands of alpine trees were felled. Bhat decided to start afforestation there ten years ago. "It has regained its grandeur today."

"I'm overjoyed. If you came here ten years ago, it was like a desert; all of the trees had been chopped down, and just five to ten trees remained.

"Today, it's a lovely green forest," Bhat added. "I don't have a fund-raising mechanism, nor do I have an NGO." I am spending from my personal profits, with the idea of ordinary man's social obligation, that whatever you earn or learn, you would give it back to society," he stated.

The villagers' encouragement motivated Bhat even more. For his million-tree ambition, he has now partnered with Sher-E-Kashmir Agriculture University to establish an alpine nursery that would provide one lakh seedlings each year.

 "Anyone who comes here notices a change. I am now working at an agricultural university. "They've given me property, and I'm creating a nursery there," he explained. "The same folks who were formerly timber smugglers have come forward to help the planting operation."

"They see the optimism that afforestation would put the region on the tourism map," he added. Bhat's path has been difficult, but what keeps him going is his desire to plant more trees. "I shall keep doing so,” he stated.

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