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Moin and His Mission for Trees!
Friday February 27, 2015 5:36 PM, Nigar Ataulla,

As humble as a tree, providing the shade of self-confidence to hundreds of children in his Magnifique Schools, extending his branches of guidance with his motivational talks to thousands of people, world-renowned environmentalist U.S. Moinuddin dreams of an India with over 122 crore trees, and a world with over 700 crore trees!

U S Moinuddin

It was the springy, sunny month of July in Bangalore. Tattler, a cute little bird, had gobbled his breakfast, and, as usual, had flown into the nearby town, to naughtily peep into the kitchens and gather all the chatter that the womenfolk did while they cut vegetables for their lunch. Tattler was all very excited when he heard the womenfolk talking about the birth of a little baby, who, they said, looked very noble!

That was enough for Tattler, and off he flew to the Gulmohar tree, where he informed the blooming red flowers that a little noble boy would arrive soon. He'll love to play with trees, he said to them.

"Goodness gracious!" exclaimed the pretty flowers, "That will be wonderful! Tattler, go tell the Rain Tree over there, the Silver Oak Tree, the Banyan Tree, the Trumpet Tree, and the Neem and Peepul Tree, too, about this! They will be so delighted!"

So off went Tattler, flapping his wings and spreading this message to all the trees! And so it was! That kid was none other than U.S. Moinuddin, who was born on July 30, to his parents N.Syed Umar and Rasheeda Begum, 18 years after their marriage.

Moinuddin was really God's gift to them!

Growing up with the great love and affection bestowed on him by his parents, Moin spent his childhood setting off on "green walks" by himself, talking to the trees, plants, ants, caterpillars, butterflies and cows that he saw on the wayside. Skipping along on his little feet, he would pick up seeds scattered around here and there, and would bring them home and plant them.

Moin's love for nature and his passion and obsession for trees and plants began when he was a young child. On lazy summer afternoons, he would sit under a tree and read Phantom and Tarzan comics gifted to him by his father. "This helped me develop my imagination, writing skills, and love for trees and jungles," he says. At school, while his teacher would be discussing geometry, his mind would travel far away, to the distant jungles of Africa!

After school, Moin enrolled for a civil engineering course, at the Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering, but his heart was not in designing roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings. Yet, he completed the course. During his college days, he also took keen interest in understanding the problems people faced in their daily lives. He exhibited leadership qualities as a human rights activist, too.

After college, in order to earn a living Moin set up an interior designing outfit, but he soon realized that measuring the size of windows and doors was not his cup of tea. Handing over the set-up to his friend, he courageously followed his heart, plunging into the task of saving and growing trees in Bangalore.

Inspired by his father, N. Syed Umar Saab, who was a visionary and had established a large number of residential layouts, mosques, educational institutions, burial grounds and other organizations, Moin set up a school in 2001 in Minhaj Nagar, Bangalore, called Magnifique English School. The school had a particular focus on value-based education. In 2005, he established the Magnifique Public School on Kanakapura Main Road, Bangalore. It is here that Moin and his strong teams of teachers help nurture children to become good human beings. For his hard work, Moin also received the best school management award for the year 2011-12.

"I tell the students that paper certificates are not the do-all and end-all of life. Our students are groomed to become good citizens of the nation. Out of my passion for nature, I have created a forest in the school campus, with a pond that is surrounded by many varieties of trees, which attract lots of birds. We've planted thousands of saplings in the campus and surrounding areas," says Moin.

Moin has conducted environment awareness programmes, and has distributed free saplings at many venues. Doing his bit in response to global warming and water-table depletion, he started the One Tree by One Person initiative, through which a large number of people have been motivated to become more environmentally conscious. He meets people in offices, factory workers, students in schools and colleges and housewives and encourages them to support the effort. His message to them is, "If every Indian plants a sapling each, we shall have 122 crore trees, in addition to the ones that exist! If people across the world plant a sapling each, we can have over 700 crore trees in the world, in addition to the ones that already exist!" "Plant a tree and take care of it well," says Moin, who encourages people to gift tree saplings on occasions like weddings, anniversaries or birthdays. "I also launched T Shirts for the cause of planting trees, anyone who bought the T Shirt would get a sapling free. This way the message of planting trees would spread to the masses," explains Moin.

One Tree by One Person has also attracted followers in Nigeria, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Russia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and U.S.A.

When there is a shortage of space in a city like Bangalore, how does one plant so many trees, one might ask.

It isn't really difficult, actually. Moin says: "Where there is more space, you can plant Rain trees, Matti, Gulmohar and other big trees. Where there is less space, you can plant Silver Oak, Honge and other small- and medium-sized trees."

In the schools that Moin runs, students are encouraged to be involved in initiatives to protect the environment. Recently, a Tree Explorers Club was launched in the school, aiming to create awareness about different varieties of trees in the area. "We want the students to get emotionally connected with the trees, as though they are the members of their families," he explains.

Not one to sit quiet, Moin travelled to Ooty to fetch tea saplings and grow them in Bangalore! "I purchased a few tea saplings from a beautiful tea estate. Remarkably, the saplings survived and new leaves began to sprout from the plants!" he says excitedly.

Moin is also a perfect "people's person". He has set up the "Dreams Foundation" to train people to achieve successful results in life. His first book Dreams, Action and Success, became an instant success, followed by Great Thoughts, which was, again, a runaway success. Moin is working on his third book Revelations From a Cave, which hopefully will soon be released. His books have been translated in Kannada and Tamil, and the Karnataka Urdu Academy will be publishing his books in Urdu, too.

Listening to Moin's words of wisdom on nature, trees, environment, education and values was a spiritually uplifting experience for me. His deep passion for nature and trees reminded me of Prophet Muhammad's (Pbuh) saying: "If the Hour (the day of Resurrection) is about to be established and one of you was holding a palm shoot, let him take advantage of even one second before the Hour is established to plant it."

Managing big schools, he is also the SDMC (school Development Monitoring Committee) President of a government school in Ilyasnagar, Bangalore, guiding people with his motivational talks, keeping the One Tree by One Person campaign running, editing his online paper, managing the Free Tree Shop, Moin has his hands full. Yet he has kept the child in him alive! You can spot him playing hide and seek with the little kids in the "Deep Woods" Forest in Magnifique Public School or taking his toy stuffed deer for a walk!

Do join the One Tree by One Person Initiative by writing to Moin at (Cell: 9844777539) Facebook :

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