|Date||13 Jun 2013|
We believe that there is an urgent need to conserve the biodiversity of India and we can assist in this process by working in our immediate surroundings with youth, who are a very powerful force. Encouraged by the response to our “Programme to Conserve the Biodiversity of Kolkata with school students” funded by Rufford Small Grants Award where we worked in 14 schools in Kolkata for one year, we have undertaken the present programme. We are working with five schools in Kolkata and two schools in the industrial city of Durgapur in West Bengal.
In the schools after an interactive slide-illustrated talk on “Biodiversity of West Bengal” for students of Classes 7 and 8, 25 most interested students are being chosen to form the Core Group with 2 teachers. This team will be taken on a nature walk to an area near the school, involved in nature games and discussions and taken for a biodiversity hotspot visit. After this, the Core Groups in the Durgapur schools will formulate a project to conserve the biodiversity of their area and the Project team will work closely with them for its successful implementation. In the Kolkata schools, the Core Groups will work to sustain their existing projects and scale them up where applicable. The Project team will assist them with expertise and networking support. The previous core group members will be involved in project implementation. After a year, a sharing workshop will be held in Kolkata with the 7 schools, Government Departments, NGOs and concerned individuals/ groups.
The programme is of fourteen months duration. Diti Mookherjee is the Team Leader and is being assisted by the Association for Social and Environmental Development (ASED). Team members are Kushal Mookherjee who is a member of the National Board for Wildlife, India and a member of the State Wildlife Advisory Board, West Bengal, N.N. Chatterjea, an expert on the flora of West Bengal and Pratik Ghosh who is pursuing his doctorate in museology.
The Project is underway. Slide-illustrated talks have been conducted in three schools in Kolkata and these schools are also in the process of formation of the Core Groups.
Read about Diti's previous grant http://www.rufford.org/rsg/projects/diti_mookherjee or for more information contact: