World Wetlands Day 2006 in India


World Wetlands Day -- Tamil Nadu


The World Wetland Day for the year 2006 was observed with great enthusiasm and fervor to achieve one of the prime objectives of inculcating awareness among the different stakeholders like school teachers, school students, teacher trainees and common public. I took 47 teacher trainees (22 Boys and 25 Girls) pursuing first year Diploma in Teacher Education (DTE) course at the District Institute of Education and Training at Vadalur, where I have been working, to one of the biggest fresh water irrigation tanks called Perumal Tank located about 20 km away from our institute in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu. The tank, which is spread over an area of 1300ha stretches to a length of 18 km is used for irrigation.

After reaching the tank I spoke on the reason behind observing the World Wetland Day, importance of different types of wetlands to humanity, flora and fauna. I also stressed the role of teachers in conserving wetlands (Photos 1 & 2). After walking some distance on the bank of the tank, we all went to a middle school (1 to 8th Standard) located in a village called Kundiyamallur on the bank of the tank. I brought students studying 6 to 8th standard and teachers and Headmaster to the tank bed and spoke to them about World Wetland Day and the role of students and teachers in the conservation of wetlands, their flora and fauna. As the headmaster of that school works in that area for over 5 years he has acquainted with the various features of the Perumal tank so he was asked to share his experience with his students (Photo 3).

Thereafter, as we made the teacher trainees and school students aware of wetlands we led them on the bank of the tank by raising slogans on wetlands conservation with a view of making the people aware it (Photo 4). After sending the school teachers and students back to their school we continued our trekking on the bund of the tank by observing birds. On that day we could see 33 species of birds (list enclosed). Then we reached one primary school (1 to 5th standard) located in a village called Kallayankuppam another village located on the bank of the tank. After finishing our lunch I spoke to the teachers and students of the school about World Wetland Day and importance of conserving wetlands (Photo 5).

We started walking along the tank by getting into the tank now and then and seeing the flora and fauna. All along the distance of over 10 km we covered, we raised slogans en route on wetland conservation. On the night of the same day my talk on "Wetland Conservation" was broadcast by the "All India Radio" station located at Pondicherry Union territory in the programme relayed for farmers. Further, as I intended to teach wetland conservation to one more school located nearer to our institute, I went there the next day and took 4th and 5th standard students and the headmaster to a small tank and spoke on the importance of conserving wetlands and the role of teachers and students in this task (Photo 6). The entire event was published in a Tamil daily called "Dhina Malar" on 9th instant ( News clipping file 7).

Dr. K. Sampath
District Institute of Education and Training
Vadalur - 607 303
Cuddalore - District
Tamil Nadu, India


List of bird species recorded from Perumal Tank, Cuddalore district, Tamil Nadu, India

1. Little Grebe
2. Little Cormorant
3. Darter
4. Grey Heron
5. Purple Heron
6. Indian Pond Heron
7. Little Egret
8. Median Egret
9. Large Egret
10. Cattle Egret
11. White-breasted Water Hen
12. Asian Open-bill
13. Oriental White Ibis
14. Glossy Ibis
15. Cotton Teal
16. Common Teal
17. Pintail
18. Garganey
19. Common Pochard
20. Coot
21. Black-winged Stilt
22. Red-wattled Lapwing
23. Little Ringed Plover
24. Lesser Sand Plover
25. Redshank
26. Marsh Sandpiper
27. Wood Sandpiper
28. Little Stint
29. Gull-billed Tern
30. Indian River Tern
31. Common Tern
32. White-breasted Kingfisher
33. Small-Blue kingfisher

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