These children and more like them are on a mission to save trees. Like to hear their message?Superstitions can sometimes save the environment. Five students of S.B.I.O.A. Matriculation School, Tiruchi, who were selected at the National Children's Science Congress at Sikkim, are sure of this. Having undertaken a three-month project on "Conservation Practices", they say that the "god-fearing" community dwelling near forest areas are the saviours of greenery. Five students J. Thayumanav, A. Shafi Irfanullah, M. Praveen, S. Hema and K. Dharshana had applied for the National Children's Science Congress project, under this year's theme "Bio-diversity nurture; nature for future." With guidance from their Chemistry teacher, Shanthi Rajendran, the students visited Kalamavur and Mandayur forest areas where they collected samplings for their case studies. They interacted with the villagers to learn about the common method of afforestation. Invariably, the villagers had just one thing to say "it's a sin to cut trees."
Certain disasterTheir common belief that "chopping a tree will prove disastrous for the village," has made them watchdogs of the greenery. Highlighting this method of conservation, the team leader, J. Thayumanav, presented his project at the State-level Science Congress held at Erode. The panellists short-listed 30 teams out of about 200 that took part, and selected them for the national level. Thayumanav was one among the 30 who attended various seminars and workshops at the National Science Congress held at Sikkim. "It was a life-time experience. The four-day schedule was packed with interesting programmes on science," he says. The assessment ranked the team in second grade, commending their in-depth fieldwork at forests. The keyed-up kids are now pooling in other students to take up conservation practices at the school premises. "We have never been so serious about the need for conservation until we took up the project," says Shafi Irfanullah. "We would like to spread the message."