KERALA

Earth Day celebrated

Foliage mode: A foreign tourist taking photos of schoolchildren during an interaction with them as part of the Earth Day celebrations at Viswadarshanam Centre for Humanity and Nature at Nariyapuram, near Pathanamthitta, on Wednesday.

Foliage mode: A foreign tourist taking photos of schoolchildren during an interaction with them as part of the Earth Day celebrations at Viswadarshanam Centre for Humanity and Nature at Nariyapuram, near Pathanamthitta, on Wednesday.  

Staff Reporter

PATHANAMTHITTA: The Earth Day celebrations at Viswadarshanam Centre for Humanity and Nature at Nariyapuram near here turned out to be a unique experience to the local schoolchildren on Wednesday.

The 21-year-old nature centre founded by Umeshbabu, a nature lover, celebrated the day by organising a series of programmes.

As many as 75 schoolchildren and three volunteers, two of them foreigners, attended the programme.

The volunteers —Molly M. Murphy from Seattle in Washington, Orsolya Heim from Hungary and Abhimanyu Meer from Mumbai—interacted with the children, besides taking part in the nature trail as part of the ‘Greening the Minds’ programme.

The celebrations commenced with an introductory speech by Mr. Umeshbabu. The children took the pledge and divided into different groups to explore the lush green nature trail that runs throughout the centre which is rich in fruit trees, flowering plants and medicinal herbs.

They enjoyed exploring and discovering the secret message hidden on scattered stones, said Ms. Murphy.

Suresh Balraj, environmentalist from Thiruvananthapuram, delivered the Earth Day message. An exhibition of nature photographs by wildlife photographer Jain Angadickal was held as part of the celebrations.

An essay competition and painting competition for schoolchildren were also organised.

The programme ended with an interactive cultural performance of folk music, Bhoomigeethangal, by a local group of artiste Nattarangu Kala Samithi led by Suresh Soma.

Mr. Umeshbabu and his wife Jannie have been organising nature camps and environmental awareness programmes at the centre since the past two decades. The recently introduced ‘Outdoor Nature School’ programme for schoolchildren has turned out to be a big hit and a large number of schools in and around Pathanamthitta have already joined the programme, Mr. Umeshbabu said.

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