World Wetlands Day 2002: India

08/02/2002

India

Pune city celebrates World Wetland Day!!!

Rucha Chitnis (rucha11@hotmail.com) reports:

Dear Ramsar Friends,

So inspired were we students of Ecological Society, Pune, after visiting your Web site that we decided to join the global World Wetland Day celebrations by organising one in our city too!

The response was great! Here is a brief summary of what we did. If you could put it up on your Web site we would be thrilled. We hope this acts like a mulitplier effect and students the world over can get proactive and start a chain to save these precious ecosystems!!

If you need photographs of our celebrations, I would be more than glad to scan them and send them across to you.

Many thanks!

Rucha Chitnis
(student, Ecological Soceity, India)

Pune city celebrates World Wetlands Day!

On Feb 2nd students of the Ecological Society embarked on a mission called 'Operation Save Nature's Sponge!' Taking inspiration from the Ramsar portal, Ecological Society, Pune celebrated the World Wetlands Day by organising an environment outreach programme for the citizens of Pune city.

Through press releases sent out in local newspapers people were invited to Pashaan Lake where music, games, nature trails and a skit spread one universal message to the audience--need to salvage and conserve India's wetlands.

Why should saving a wetland should be the business of any Pune resident was the idea discussed and conveyed to enthusiastic residents who arrived to join the celebrations.

Founder of the Ecological Society; noted ornithologist and ecologist, Prakash Gole spoke about the conservation value of the wetlands and how it was connected with the welfare, health and interest of every common man. "Wetland management is paramount for the interest of both man and animals. This will ensure availability of clean drinking water, conservation of unique flora and fauna and a healthy atmosphere which can be used for useful recreational hobbies as bird watching," explained Mr. Gole. One of Pune's leading Botanists, Prof. S.D Mahajan took the excited crowds for a special nature trail to showcase wetland vegetation and its vital role in the ecosystem. People learned the myriad uses of wetland plants in nutrition, medicine and pollution control.

"Education is freedom," said one enthusiastic student. "You have to make people understand how wetlands help them in providing clean water, food and even songs of a favourite bird. Unless they don't know the value of this threatened ecosystem, they won't understand its conservation need."

Children were taken for a bird watching adventure by the lake and were shown how the lives of Spot Billed Ducks and Coots paddling in the waters were dependent on the health of the wetland. Following a drawing competition, the children were later regaled by a skit on the Web Of Life.

By the end of the exciting morning people got one message clear and loud-A wetland is like a super computer; capable of multi tasking and super efficient!

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