Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Meaningful Nature Camp Program

Conservation of endangered plants.

In the beginning I started the trek in the wild just to be in the greenery as a true nature lover. But two incidents while i was on trek made a deep impact on me to think behind just enjoying the greenery.
Once when i was trekking in our Sharavathi valley, a fellow trekker got hurt by a thorn and blood was oozing out. Immediately my local guide went around in the forest and within few minutes he was back with few leaves in his hands. He squeezed those leaves and applied the juice on the wound. It was amazing to see speed at which blood stopped oozing out!. In another incident, while i was trekking along with the stream of Belligundi a pleasant aroma surrounded us. Out of curiosity, i asked my guide about the source of this aroma. Then he searched and there he could find "naga sampige flower" blooming. It was divine experience to see on my own eye!. Because these flowers i had only read it in some scriptures.
The above incident made me think of doing something to conserve these plants, so that they dont get extinct with depleting forest. I started thinking the way to conserve these plants. Then i came across this committed and dynamic Range forest officer of Sagara town. When i discussed this idea, he was very happy to help me out. We identified the "moolike vana (medicinal plants garden)" in sharavathi valley which is maintained by forest department. Then we devised a model to take up this conservation work. What we planned is involve local tribals in this process, so that there is a sense of responsibility for them and also we planned to pay some nominal amount per rare plant which they collect it from forest. This model has been working great from last 2 years. Last year we had collected about 100 species of tribal medicinal plants. This year we collected mix of about 100 species of 150 medicinal and other rare plants.

Nature camp for the students of BNMIT institution of Bangalore.

I was thinking of inviting some dignitaries to grace the occasion planting these sapling. By then Prof. Shesh prasad of BNM Institution Eco club contacted me to host the nature awareness camp for their students at our camp. After working out the itinerary, i just requested the Prof, whether we can involve the students to plant this saplings. Prof was very happy and readily agreed for this noble event. Accordingly we planned this planting event after the nature awareness camp. This time we had Mr.Devendrappa who is award winning Organic farmer. He is master of many subjects. He is a Income tax practitioner by profession but his interest drew him to the organic farming. He is also well read person and philosopher. On the night of Day1, We had lecture on Simple and natural living by him. He quoted many scripture and gave a meaningful lecture. For about 2 and half hour, it was introspective and inspiring talk by him. It was more of interactive session around camp fire. Everyone enjoyed it thoroughly. On Day2 students enjoyed the water sports activities till afternoon. Then they had the lunch and rested for a while. Later students said goodbye to the island and traveled to "Moolike vana". Moolike vana" is about 2 KM from our camp place. Plants were kept ready in moolike vana itself and pits were also dug up earlier by our people. Students were asked to pick up the plants and move near pit allotted to them. Then demo was given by naturalist Harsha on how to plant the sapling. Accordingly everyone planted the saplings. After planting all of us traveled to the community hall in gubbagodu and stayed there over night. Prof Shesh prasad himself a famous singer, he is live on many TV programs. So villagers requested him to perform music. Its so wonderful to listen to his "dasara pada". He has amazing voice. Till 10:30 we had this music program and then we had dinner. Next day students went on trekking to Belligundi and Goodanagundi water falls.
It was very meaningful nature awareness camp. We are planning to host many more camps of these type for the benefit of students groups.

Please check the link for the photos.