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awareness drive: Khadi Board Minister K. Ramachandran flagging off a rally organised as part of the Wildlife Week celebrations in Udhagamandalam on Monday. —
awareness drive: Khadi Board Minister K. Ramachandran flagging off a rally organised as part of the Wildlife Week celebrations in Udhagamandalam on Monday. —

Special Correspondent

‘Deforestation should be prevented at all costs’

Udhagamandalam: With a procession organised by the Forest Department, the curtain came down on the 2008 Fauna and Flora Week celebrations here on Monday.

It was flagged off near the Central Bus Stand by Khadi Board Minister K. Ramachandran. Among those present was Nilgiris Collector Anandrao V. Patil.

The participants, including students from various schools in and around Ooty, carried placards highlighting the need to live in harmony with nature.

Presiding over a function that followed, the Field Director, Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, Rajeev Kumar Srivastava, adverted to the objectives of the celebrations and underscored the need to extend a helping hand to the threatened ‘mute population’.

Glory

Stating that through concerted efforts the rot on the flora and fauna front can be stemmed, he expressed the hope that the lost glory can be regained.

Referring to the unique ecology of the Nilgiris, he said that some of the species found here cannot be seen in any other part of the world. Owing to this and other factors, the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve had come into being about 23 years ago. Stating that all forms of wildlife were equally important, he said that the people should protect them.

Ooty MLA B. Gopalan said that all should adopt the policy of live and let live. He appreciated the work being done by the forest officials, particularly at the field level, despite hardships of a varied kind.

Threat

Municipal Chairman R. Rajendran said that the biggest threat to mankind now was global warming. Stating that the situation was alarming, he said that at all costs deforestation should be prevented.

District Forest Officer, the Nilgiris South, Mita Banerjee said that such events were being organised to enhance awareness among the youth about the unique aspects of the Blue Mountains. Students should learn to love wildlife and nature.

The Programme Officer, National Service Scheme, Azhagar Ramanujam, the Assistant Conservator of Forests, Rathanasamy, the Wildlife Biologist, Ebenezer, and a few students also spoke.

Distribution of prizes to students who had excelled in various competitions marked the occasion.

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