Dewan Afzal

Dewan Afzal

I am 67 years old. I have been involved with the environmental movement since 2007. I am originally from Bangladesh and according to climate scientists, one third of Bangladesh will be going underwater by 2050 due to global warming. This is only one of the many grave concerns of climate change that have been cited by prominent scientists numerous times. Because of these reasons and more importantly the long term effects of these issues on our children and grandchildren I was compelled to act.

In October 2008, along with Rita Bijons and Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu, I walked from Toronto to Ottawa for an awareness raising campaign to collect and deliver climate change solutions to prime Minister Harper. In December 2008 I again walked from Copenhagen Airport to Bella Centre, the venue for the UN Climate Conference, along with two Danish Youth to raise awareness about the effects of climate change. Prior to these walks for the environment I was also involved in a one man march for peace and harmony from Toronto to Niagara Falls in October 2004 to speak out against racial profiling.

Much of my inspiration comes from the great Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore and I would like to end with his poem Walk Alone:

Walk Alone

If they answer not to thy call walk alone,
If they are afraid and cower mutely facing the wall,
O thou of evil luck,
open thy mind and speak out alone

If they turn away, and desert you when crossing the wilderness,
O thou of evil luck,
trample the thorns under thy tread,
and along the blood-lined track travel alone.

If they do not hold up the light when the night is troubled with storm,
O thou of evil luck,
with the thunder flame of pain ignite thy own heart
and let it burn alone.