KERALA

Promoting eco-conservation among students

Special Correspondent

KANNUR: The vast extent of wetland at Purachery, near Payyannur, its mangrove areas, river banks, rice fields, hillock, herbal plants, water birds, butterflies and spiders have been subjects that have aroused the curiosity of children who have participated in nature camps being organised by the Kannur Paristhithi Samithi for the past two years.

Over 400 students from different schools have so far participated in the free monthly camps organised as part of the nature camp initiative by the samithi in association with the Kesavatheeram Ayurveda Gramam at Purachery. Purachery’s wetland, mangroves and paddy fields form an ideal setting for organising nature camps primarily aimed at introducing features of a coastal habitat to children hailing from the hill areas. Every month, the samithi organises a two-day camp for children. Nearly 30 students participate in the camp.

“The camps are planned to inculcate a sense of observation and conservation of nature among children,” samithi secretary Bhaskaran Vellur says. The camp also encourages the participants to do micro observation of plants and animals as also discussions on how plants are affected by global warming or health problems caused by new food habits. The participants of the camp are provided food and accommodation.

Environmental activist John C. Jacob, R.C. Karippath, artists K.K. Marar and mangrove conservation activist Kallen Pokkudan are among those who took classes at the camp.

V. Vishnu Namboothiri, founder of the Ayurveda Gramam, says that students from more schools would participate in the camps this year.