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‘Switch over from exotic to native species of flora’

Special Correspondent
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Rajiv K.Srivastava, Field Director, Anamalai Tiger Reserve, presents the Nature Conservation Society's Eco Award to C.Rathna Varshini for conservation photography, in Coimbatore, on Saturday.- Photo: K.Ananthan.
Rajiv K.Srivastava, Field Director, Anamalai Tiger Reserve, presents the Nature Conservation Society's Eco Award to C.Rathna Varshini for conservation photography, in Coimbatore, on Saturday.- Photo: K.Ananthan.

There is a pertinent need to switch over from exotic species to native species of plants to regain Coimbatore of the past, a place with salubrious climate hosting a number of butterflies and frogs in an urban ambience, said Rajiv K. Srivasata, Field Director of Anamalai Tiger Reserve, on Saturday.

He was speaking at a function organised by Nature Conservation Society (NCS) at PSGR Krishnammal College for Women for presenting the Eco Awards to individuals and institutions for their green initiatives.

The awards are an initiative to encourage green initiatives and make others emulate these awardees. Mr. Srivastava exhorted the future generations to love, admire, adore and adopt nature as it had been the Indian culture right from the ages of rishis . As a result of rapid urbanisation and lost love for nature, frogs and butterflies have vanished while the mosquitoes have increased in manifold. Recalling his two earlier tenures as District Forest Officer of Coimbatore, he praised the NGOs of Coimbatore for doing their bit to protect the environment.

Pointing out the massive afforestation drive by the Forest Department both inside the forest and as well as outside the forest, Mr. Srivastava urged every individual especially the younger generation to go in for tree planting to enhance the green cover, which according to him was a promising mode for fighting climate change. He said any slackness at this point in time will result in further deterioration of our wetland eco-systems and the visiting birds both native and foreign species would stop coming. This would result in the future generation getting to see those birds only in photographs.

He also called upon students to plant saplings and nurture them, besides placing bird feeders and keeping bowls to quench the hunger and thirst of the birds.

President of NCS N.I. Jalaludeen said that Eco clubs in schools such as Samskara Academy and Kadri Mills Higher Secondary School on Tiruchi Road had done tremendous work in spreading awareness on measures to mitigate the ill-effects of climate change. He said that the damage done to environment so far, had to be undone fast only by the future generations.

Sashi, Head of the Department of Botany of the College, called for cultivating eco-friendly habits and the need for furthering such events to motivate the students to make them more eco-friendly.

NGOs that were given Eco-awards included R. Mohammed Saleem of Environment Conservation Group, Mohan Raj – Secretary of Save Coimbatore Wet lands, Yoganathan – President of Save Coimbatore wet lands, Ganesan, Vice-President of Osai, Saravana Chandrasekar of Wild Wings Society. The award winners in individuals category for green initiatives included; R. Prakash, Gokul Ram, Sukumaran, J. Mohammed Muthu, Ajay Kumar, Nidhyan Maniarasau, Ravichandran from Tirupur District, Praveeen, Sarfudeen, Yasufdeen of Erode and Manoj of Coimbatore.

Institutions that bagged the award included; Samskaara Academy, Kadri Mills Higher Secondary School, Chandra Matriculation Higher Secondary School, PSGR Krishnammal Girls Higher Secondary School for Girls, Adwaith GNS Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Anan Kids Academy, PSG Sarvajana Higher Secondary School, Lisieux Matriculation Higher Secondary School, GKD Matriculation Higher Secondary School, GRG Tribal School – Vazhaithottam – in Masinagudi near Nilgiris, CMS Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Nikitha International School and PSG Nursery and Primary School.

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