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| Last Updated:06/07/2020

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Green Army fights to save nature

BANGALORE: If global warming is described as Armageddon, harbour no fear. There's a Green Army being forged in Namma Bangalore. What started as a 13-member endeavour in 2001 to strengthen the physical and mental health of the youth, Green Army has now become a multi-pronged movement to harness the spirit of adventure to conserve and protect nature. 

It now has about 153 members, mostly science students, spreading the message of environmental conservation and adventure among the youth through activities like adventure treks, nature camps, ecological meditations and padayatras. "What you study in classrooms doesn't really allow you to delve deeper in your subject, unless you venture out and explore," says 18-year -old Aishwarya Uday Kumar, a first-year science student at Christ University. 

Luckily for Aishwarya, Green Army, the student movement backed by her college, is able to slake her thirst for practical knowledge - corresponding to her subjects, Chemistry, Biology and Zoology - and also give her valuable experience in understanding major issues. "Our treks to wildlife sanctuaries and camps, and nature camps helped me immensely to connect with nature and learn from it," she says. 

There's nothing like being part of a group to create awareness about issues that affect our daily life. "I learnt more about water conservation while trying to educate locals about it and by demonstrat i n g ways to use water efficiently for daily chores," says Aishwarya, about her experience of being a part of water conservation programme carried out by the Green Army near Tavarekere which is near her college. 

Green Army has organized about 49 treks and nature camps in various parts of south India. Its members have had camps in Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Rajeev Gandhi National Park,Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Brahmagiri in Coorg, Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, B R Hills in Chamarajnagar, Muthodi in Shimoga, Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, Savandurga, Devarayandurga and Shivaganga hills in Tumkur, Chandragiri and Skandagiri near Chikkballapur, Siddarabetta in Madhugiri taluk, Antharagange near Kolar, Rangaswamy hills near Kanakapura, Ramadevara Betta in Ramanagaram and Ragibetta in Bannerghatta National Park. 

"The idea was to get students out of class and to give them an opportunity to take part in constructive activities related to nature," says PU Antony, senior professor, Christ University's department of zoology,who founded the Green Army. 

"We were recently involved in direct counting of visible animal life at the Malagiri forest,where we also collected footprints and faeces samples of animals along with forest department officials. The data was submitted to the Tamil Nadu forest department," adds Antony. 

The group has also undertaken several awareness programmes like seminars, workshops, and environmental education programmes for school children, ecology week celebrations and tree planting. It has worked with various government agencies like the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, Lake Development Authority, and Karnataka State Biodiversity Board, among others.


Times of India (06-05-2013)