B. MADHU GOPAL
Concerned about the destruction of the environment, M. Rama Murty, a college lecturer, started nature clubs to enlighten young minds about its adverse effects on posterity.
School children participating in a rally organised by DNCS.
India is endowed with vast natural resources like water, forests, flora and fauna. The indiscriminate exploitation of these natural resources is leading to the destruction of habitat, pollution of environment and causing ecological disasters like drought, earthquakes and floods.
The Constitution says, "It shall be the fundamental duty of every citizen to protect and improve the natural environment, including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for all living creatures". But, who cares?
No wonder, the excessive exploitation of groundwater with hardly any attempts at recharging it and playing with the ecological cycle are responsible for the current water scarcity in Visakhapatnam, described as the `City of Destiny'. But how many understand the consequences of playing with Nature? It is here that organisations like the Dolphin Nature Conservation Society (DNCS) step in. A zoology lecturer in BVK College, M. Rama Murty, with over two decades of teaching experience, was concerned by the widespread destruction of the environment and its effects on posterity. He started the Penguin Nature Club in the college 15 years ago.
The club organised a number of activities like, turtle conservation rallies, planting of saplings, ill-effects of plastic bags and other awareness programmes. The students participated enthusiastically in the programmes. The activities were, however, restricted to the students of the college.
All for a cause...
When students from other colleges in the city expressed their desire to take part in environmental conservation activities, Rama Murty started the DNCS. Since its inception in 2001, the society adopted and developed parks, undertook campaigns for the protection of the endangered Olive Ridley turtles and snakes and campaign against the use of plastic carry bags.
DNCS had cleared the shrubs in the premises of the Rani Chandramani Devi Hospital for the Physically Challenged and developed a beautiful garden. "We have plans to develop a bio-diversity cum energy park" on the vast vacant land available around the hospital. Apart from growing medicinal and ornamental plants, we are planning to set up windmills and solar energy panels for tapping non-conventional energy," he says.
"Creating environmental awareness among students especially those at the Intermediate and degree-college level will go a long way in fulfilling the objectives of conservation. The DNCS executive members are all students and they are now able to conduct programmes on their own," he says.
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