A green group has launched a game of flashcards on the birds of India to wean children away from screens to the open for taking a flight to nature.
Timed ahead of Teacher’s Day on September 5, the game titled ‘Pakshi Parichay’ (‘What’s That Bird?’) entails a set of 40 flashcards on as many species and is aimed at making children get out of their homes, observing birds and learning more about them.
The game has been designed by Early Bird, an avian-specific initiative of the Nature Conservation Foundation.
Designed as an educational game in Hindi, each card features a common Indian bird species with photographs on one side and information about its behaviour and range on the other, with icons for habitat and food, and a trivia section for games.
“Urban children nowadays have access to a variety of fascinating information about wildlife, thanks to mobile phones and the internet. However, much of this is focused on non-Indian species, and many children can identify hummingbirds and bald eagles but not the birds from our own backyard like sunbirds and kites,” Garima Bhatia, programme head of Early Bird and the primary creator of the game said.
“This is the reason that on Teacher’s Day in the 76th year of India’s independence, we wanted children to get off their screens and into the real world, observing Indian birds and caring for our natural heritage,” she said.
The flashcards have already generated enthusiasm among some children, Early Bird said.
Tallulah D’Silva, a nature educator and architect based in Panjim, Goa, experimented with flashcards with secondary school and college students apart from those in pre-primary and primary schools.
“The flashcards have been very helpful as a tool to convey to students details about the birds sighted in the field. What I have observed is that the participant, whatever the age, gets instantly drawn to the images of the bird and other descriptive information,” she said.
“The students were totally engrossed in the game and also trying to outdo each other,” Farida Tampal, state director of World Wide Fund for Nature-India said.