Organisations in Puducherry make it a point to educate students on biodiversity

The Oussudu, Bahour and Kaliveli Lakes are located close to each other, and they have been identified as important birding wetlands. A variety of migrant birds from across the world come here to nest, roost or just use it as a transit point on the way to Point Calimere and Sri Lanka.

Since the Oussudu Lake was declared a sanctuary, these migrant birds have been a topic of interest for people around the world. People from outside seem to know so much about the wetlands and the birds, it is only natural that the school children and the local public should also be sensitised to their importance.

It is for this reason that a number of organisations have taken up the task of educating children on biodiversity, R. Alexander, a research scholar from Pondicherry University, who has been educating school students on the biodiversity in Oussudu and Kaliveli lakes said.

The point is not only to take them to the lakes and show them birds and other species, but also to educate them on the importance of preserving the biodiversity of these areas. He has been working with schools in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, he said.

Another organisation that is working on teaching children the importance of biodiversity is PondyCan, through their program ‘Seeds of Change.’ Through the birding season (December to February), they have been taking students to the Oussudu and Kaliveli lake in order to show them the birds and teach them about their importance.

The project is headed by Auralice Graft, and has been designed as a three day module where the children are given classroom activities as well as one field trip.

At the end of the three days, the team hopes to inspire the children to care more about their environment.

They are working with 12 schools and close to 800 students in this project, Seeds of Change instructor Rajamanickam said.

In addition to this, a few schools have been taking the help of local bird watchers and enthusiasts to visit the lake and explore biodiversity.

Recently, one of the government schools set up a video camera with a projector at the Ashram land near the Oussudu Lake.

The most common birds seen in this area are the spot billed pelican, the painted stork, white stork, black headed ibis, grey heron, purple heron, egrets and a number of duck varieties.

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