LUCKNOW | Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Sharmila Krishna | Lucknow
The Forest department is finally waking to the fact that it is the generation next that has to be seriously involved in the processes of conservation. As the forest areas in the state open for the tourists this season in the state from November 15, Katarniyaghat is taking special initiative to bring 14 schools on various weekends from neighboring districts to make them aware of the forests and the animals living in these forests. This is the first time such an initiative is being taken in the tourist season from this year and the aim is to involve all in defusing persistent cases of man animal conflict.
The brainchild of the DFO Katarniyaghat RK Singh, the Initiative was taken by the official way back in 1985 when he was serving at the Corbett Park and brought about delightful changes in the attitude of the children.
“ Its precisely for the same reason that I want to start this initiative this year in this area too. We cannot depend on the tourists only for spreading the message on awareness regarding enviornment and it is crucial to involve the generation next” said Singh. The programme will involve a ride through the forests and lunch arranged by the forest department.
The DFO last week gave permission to a school from Lakhinpur Kheri with children from classes V1 toX11, aged between 12- 16 years to visit the area. “The response was incredible, the children were delighted by the fact that they saw the forest for the first time. And for these children it is not only that they look out for the tigers and the leopards but are thrilled by the fact that they can set their eyes on a range of animals which are there in plenty in the forest area” said Singh.
The DFO however said that they were stressing on the villages in the rural areas because for the time being they were keen that the people from the neighboring districts should be involved in the process of conservation.
It’s important to concenterate on the rural areas because we are constantly having man and animal conflicts in these areas so it becomes necessary to sensitize them” added Singh.
As for the budget regarding the programme the official said that they will receive it from the Central Government under the publicity programmes for the area. “We are awaiting for the release of the funds under the publicity programme of the forest areas” said Singh.
As for the current tourist season Singh said that tourists are likely to arrive from November 20.
Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at http://www.bigcatrescue.org