It is no secret that sanitation is one of Pakistan’s biggest problems. Citizens witness trash heaps in every street corner of every city. Mostly, garbage lies in the open and there is no one there to clean it. This is mainly due to the lack of awareness in citizens and ignorance of the related authorities. It is especially a shame when the beautiful Northern Areas of Pakistan are turned into garbage dumps hours after tourists visit them.
One Pakistani Captain Planet has set out to fix just that.
Meet Saifullah Kashmiri, a solo man on the mission to bring about a change in Pakistan
Saifullah has come up with the idea of a national tour “Clean Pakistan, Green Pakistan” in order to encourage a garbage-free Pakistan. He has been traveling the country on his motorcycle, personally cleaning any garbage-filled site that he can find.
He has been on the road since 1993
Saifullah would travel to different parts of Pakistan, admiring beauty. That’s when he started to notice how dirty Saif-ul-Mulook was. People would camp there and leave their trash behind. He would pick up their trash in front of them in order to send a silent message and encourage awareness. Wherever he went, Saifullah would keep a huge plastic bag with him at all times.
The biker dude aims to clean Pakistan from Khunjarab to Gwadar
Saifullah has always found the idea of garbage dumps disgusting and it saddens him to see such beautiful sites littered with trash. He currently covers about 4-5 different cities in a day, traveling on his motorbike in order to keep his journey as cost-efficient as possible. He always travels with a foldable bed, clothes, gloves and plastic bags. These essentials get him through the toughest of days.
The Pakistani Captain Planet uses social media as a platform to get help from his followers
Before traveling to a site, Saifullah posts details of his next visit on his Facebook page. Through this, he manages to get 50-100 people of the region to help him collect trash. They are told to bring their own gloves and plastic bags. Once the trash is collected, Saifullah makes sure that it is disposed off properly. He recalls cleaning 85km of trash from the China border. Once collected, he gave the garbage to the authorities who had an entire system to burn the trash in order to get rid of it. Later, when he posted about this on his Facebook page, people came to congratulate him in person and were inspired by his selfless journey.
In order to award them in his own capacity, he has also printed out certificates to give to his helpers each time they complete cleaning a spot. He says that this encourages people to clean up after themselves and also gives them a sense of achievement for their hard work.
Saifullah wants to send a message to the citizens of Pakistan
“Pakistan is a beautiful country. I honestly believe that it is the most ideal place in the world for vacationing and site-seeing. However, if we do not clean up after ourselves, soon it will become a garbage dump. Wherever you go, keep a big plastic bag with you in order to prevent yourself from littering on the roads. Let’s all pledge to give our children a clean Pakistan. They deserve to witness the beauty we once basked in.”
He also has a message for the government
“As of now, I am traveling solo and trying to get my message to as many people as possible. However, if the government could finance me a little, I would be able to travel to smaller colonies and educate more people. I need think-tanks in order to strategize my travels. I believe that the government should take interest in spreading the message of cleanliness through dramas, newspapers, warnings, social media and through print and electronic media. Pakistan is a surreal country but people lack awareness. They need to be educated on the downside of littering and I cannot do this alone.”
Before going out for his long travels, Saifullah gives sadqa and places his trust in God
When asked whether he has ever felt scared while traveling since the Northern Areas have risky roads, Saifullah told us that he has blind faith in his God. He has lived in jungles and steep mountains where there is no sign of human life and yet, he has survived. He believes that he will be successful in his journey as he is doing this purely for the good of people and for his nation. A believer of good karma, Saifullah believes that he will be kept safe and will be able to achieve his goal of cleaning up the important spots of Pakistan.
Saifullah, you have our heart. We wish you the very best on your selfless journey, and encourage our readers to carry a plastic bag to put their trash in. This would greatly help Saifullah’s noble cause. What do you think of his journey? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!