Mobile apps that brings you close to nature

Students of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan's Public School admiring nature “Mobile Apps for Climate Change”: A Citizen Science programme for Schools in Metros at LV Prasad Eye Institute in Hyderabad on Tuesday. Photo: Nagara Gopal  

When Dr. V. Shubhalaxmi, founder and director of Ladybird Consulting LLP was at an outing with children of class VIII, she found it very hard to engage them with nature. “They were all busy clicking pictures on their smart phones. Initially, I got them interested by talking about photography, but later I realised I had to develop something that they can use and learn,” she recalled.

It was then that Dr. Shubhalaxmi came up with the idea of developing something to bring nature closer to people through technology, and the result was the creation of ‘itrees’, ‘ibutterflies’ and ‘ibirds’. “My team won 25,000 US dollars as grant support for a project that involved development of three mobile apps on urban birds, butterflies and trees of four metros; Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkatta and Hyderabad,” she said, speaking at the launch of the apps here on Tuesday.

These apps include information about 50 common species that are mostly found in these metros, and will be freely available on the Android platform, stated Dr. Shubhalaxmi, and added that three new mobile applications will be available for download from December 12 onwards. “The apps can be downloaded from December 12 onwards across India,” mentioned Dr. Shubhalaxmi.

Also, the LVPEI has partnered with the World Wife Find for Nature India (WWF) to work with schools in Hyderabad, Delhi and Kolkata to help students document campus biodiversity through the new mobile apps developed. Apart from the apps, the project includes a School Citizen Science Programme titled ‘Urban iNaturewatch Challenge’, wherein 40 city schools will take up local biodiversity studies as part of their project work.

Less budget

Addressing students, teachers and other delegates at LVPEI, P. K. Sharma, chief wildlife warden, Telangana, said that only 0.004 per cent of the total State’s budget has been allotted for nature conservation “Even Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has strings attached to various types of licences. We need to change attitudes, then only things will change,” he opined.

Mr. Sharma also felt that implementation of laws to protect forests is not up to the mark. We are very good at making laws but are the worst in implementing them,” he remarked.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 5:07:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/mobile-apps-that-brings-you-close-to-nature/article6676980.ece

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