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| Last Updated:06/07/2020

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Tribal students help conserve nature

NASHIK: The efforts of tribal students in Harsul and Peth areas to create awareness among villagers to conserve nature have paid off as the use of slings to pelt stones at birds has reduced to almost nil in the region.

During the past five years, these tribal children who used to indulge in hunting animals and birds, not only have stopped using them but are also preventing others from doing so. The students have also managed to stop cutting of trees by villagers. Environment groups have roped in local schools in the area to organize various activities to create awareness among children.

On Wednesday, the children were distributed prizes for a drawing competition based on nature. The contest was organized by the 
Nature Conservation Society of Nashik (NCSN) for 22 schools, in which 5,000 students from classes I to XII participated.

Narayan Bhure, a volunteer, said, "Drawing is a medium through which children can express their feelings better.

They have also created awareness amongst the people in their own way."

Harshala Pawar, a student of class VIII from Waghera Ashramshala, said that to a certain extent tree cutting for firewood has stopped because the students have been creating awareness against deforestation and cooking gas is being provided as an alternative.

"Vultures are an important part of the eco-system. When an animal dies, vultures feed on the carcass, which would otherwise emit stink. But people hunt them with slings and guns. Vultures need to be conserved and I tell this to people," said Udar Vasant, a student of class XI who drew a vulture in the competition.

Bishwaroop Raha of NCSN said, "Children have great potential. They have been creating awareness and now the use of slings has become almost negligible in the area. Earlier the same kids used to hunt birds."

Shivani Waghchoure, a student of a class VI, Adivasi Seva Samiti's Bhausaheb Hiray Secondary and Higher Secondary School near Dalpatpur, said: "In our area, nobody uses slings to hunt birds any more. I keep telling everyone about the importance of birds, animals and trees. I tell them that if these are killed or destroyed the ecological balance will be under threat." A class III student of a Zilla Parishad school in Kharpadi, Mahesh Khadam who drew a stream, a boat, a coconut tree and a house said that this is what he has been seeing since childhood and wanted to conserve it.

The Times of India (27-02-2014)