By Aaliya Mir
We have had a history of associating wildlife with our legendary beliefs and folklore. Our lives would be less enriched without the biodiversity that keeps nature in balance. Therefore, in order to preserve wildlife and prevent the extinction of species, the Indian government in 1952 created the National Board of Wildlife (NBWL). After the creation of the board the NBWL decided to observe Wildlife Week annually from October 2-8. To commemorate this week,The Wildlife SOS Kashmir team organizied a variety of conservation activities.
Some of the activites were an inter school painting competition and an interschool debate using ‘wildlife’ as the theme. Approximately twenty five schools and 350 students participate in these competitions. Awards were given out to the top 3 in both competitions.
The winners of both these competitions and all other participants were felicitated by the Hon’able Minister for Forests, Environmental, Ecology and Wildlfe J and K Jenab Mian Altaf here in SKICC on 2nd of October, 2013. The program began with the welcome note given away by P.C.C.F J & K, Mr. A.K Singh. He stated the various achievements of the Dept. and acknowledged the role of Wildlife SOS in minimizing the Man/Animal conflict as per the previous years record.
Different cultural programmes and skits based on Conservation of Forests and Wildlife were presented by the students. The token of appreciation was awarded to Wildlife SOS by Hon’ble Chief Guest of the function, their unparalleled work in the fields of Awareness, Rescue and Rehabilitation.
Senior officers from the State Pollution Control Board Forest, Environment and Remote Sensing, NGO’s environmentalists, teachers and students of several schools were present on the occasion.
The Chief guest, Mian Altaf Ahmad stressed the need of making people aware about the precautions to be taken to prevent human/animal conflicts. He further urged the authorities of the Widlife Department and NGO’s, to take concrete measures for containing such conflicts. However, the seriousness of celebrating Wildlife Week is not only to educate or create awarness about wildlife among young people like school children and the general public, but also work the government and help them form policies and design strategies favoring solutions that address wildlife conservation issues in today’s changing circumstances.
Guest of Honor, Mr. Vinod Ranjan, Chairman Pollution Control Board explained the need of conservation of forests and wildlife and urged upon all especially students to get into the habit of conserving nature and natural resources in our daily lives. He ended his speech with the quote, “The essence of spiritual music likes in the silence of the forest.”
Shri Abhay Kumar, Principal Conservator of Forests expressing his love for wildlife described the importance of wildlife through food chains and advised all to understand nature and its working.
Later, Mr. Manzoor Ahmed Tak Regional Wildlife Warden of Kashmir gave the vote of thanks and called off the function for the day.