Walk along Lake Agara for bird and tree watching

Children volunteers and NGOs take children from underprivileged backgrounds on a biodiversity tracking walk

It was a Saturday morning well spent Agara Lake. Children from underprivileged backgrounds had the opportunity to connect with their neighborhood lake and understand the biodiversity in the area – courtesy of Ishita and the children’s volunteers Ishan Jain and the ActionAid Association.

The walk also included a special guest – JN Prasad, a bird watcher from JP Nagar. Prasad told the children about the more than 130 species of birds around the lake. He also pointed out that some of these birds are threatened with extinction.

The children walked from gates 1-3 – a distance of 1 km – all the while keeping their eyes peeled for birds and plants along the path. Prasad once told this to the children Bengaluru was a city of lakes with more than 1,000 lakes, but now the number has dropped to 200.

The children were able to identify two different types of kites – Black Kite and Brahmin Kite, and Prasad had them draw the different tails of the birds. He explained the scientific names of birds, plants and trees. He also shared information on the medicinal uses of some plants and the importance of biodiversity within the lake ecosystem.

“The walk organized by the ActionAid association was very useful for the children. They asked many correct questions about birds and trees. More such sea walks should be organized in the future to raise children’s awareness,” Prasad said.

When it comes to children, Ishita u Ishan Jain focused on lake protection and conservation in March, they wanted more of their age group to see what they have. They were motivated and, with the support of their parents, collected donations to exclusively carry out a lake walk for children from marginalized backgrounds, since they don’t get any opportunities. For easier understanding, they also prepared a poster on lake ecosystem. “I am happy that my children Ishita and Ishan help children to visit Lake Agara. Both have been running online craft classes for underprivileged children during the pandemic,” her mother said Anuradha Jain.

These interactions with communities help raise awareness and help them appreciate biodiversity within and around lakes

– Raghavendra B. Pachhapur, ActionAid

Ishan and Ishita, in partnership with Prabodhan, an NGO that works with children from disadvantaged communities, selected children as young as 12 to take part in the hike. “It was useful to raise environmental awareness among the children,” he said Osmita GandhiFounder of Prabodhan.

Raghavendra B Pachhapur, ActionAid Program Manager, said that in 2019 they started conducting sea trek, butterfly trek and bird watching at different lakes. “This engagement with communities helps raise awareness and help them appreciate biodiversity within and around lakes. All of these activities encourage communities to get involved in protecting and preserving the lakes. We will continue to engage children in environmental issues and plan more programs that involve children from all walks of life,” Pachhapur said.

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