THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: At a time when conservation of the environment is turning a mantra, the Nature Education Society of Travancore (NEST), a registered NGO affiliated with World Wide Fund for Nature- Kerala State and Kerala State Youth Welfare Board, is doing its bit.
They have been conducting awareness campaigns in this regard. This time again, they are conducting a bird and butterfly count at Punchakari in the city on Friday as part of Onam where a number of butterfly and bird lovers will note down the different varieties they spot on the way. About 10 members plan to visit the area and take a count of the birds and butterflies species in the area.
The organisation was founded three years back by Ratheesh K and his friend Suresh Kurup with the aim of ‘Save Nature for Future’. Ratheesh says, “ Uncontrolled exploitation of nature and natural resources is the main problem faced by our nature. We need to develop a generation with love towards nature and awareness about the importance of nature conservation.”
The activities of NEST includes nature education and awareness campaigns about nature conservation and curbing the uncontrolled use of plastics. They also arrange nature education camps and trekking for children and the public.
Every year, they conduct conservation-oriented activities such as planting saplings in public places, cleaning forest areas with the support of Forest Department and taking part of surveys and conversational activities with the support of other NGOs.
Their activities are mainly based on Trivandrum but they also conduct programmes across Kerala.
A year ago they had arranged a nature camp in Athirapally forest area. Ratheesh says, “At that time, we witnessed the cruel aftereffect of uncontrolled tourism. An elephant’s foot was bleeding wounded by a broken piece of alcohol bottle abandoned by some tourist. At that moment I realised how people are disturbing the habitat .”
To develop a positive vibe for nature conservation in society, they will conduct more awareness campaigns in schools and public places. They will arrange awareness classes on butterfly, birds and flora in forests for students. About 40 members are there in NEST. They plan to discuss the travel plans in social media and interested members will be selected for the programmes.
They will inform the participants about the reporting place and time. After planning the programme, they plan to apply for the permission from forest officials. The NGO strictly follows the rules and regulations while on their visit and they do not arrange any camps or programmes without the permission from officials.