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Vanashakti educational and Outreach Activites



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  • 1. Vanashakti Activities
  • 2. Introduction Vanashakti is a NGO that focuses on three major areas of environment namely conservation, environmental education and outreach, and sustainable livelihood of tribal community. Vanashakti believes that Environment Education is a process of integrated learning of the components of our planet, meant to avoid compartmentalization of disciplines and promote a holistic understanding of the living and non-living world, their interrelationships and inter-dependence, to create well informed citizens able to make informed choices and decisions. Vanashakti conducts activities both in urban and rural areas in the state of Maharashtra to propagate and instill environmental awareness amongst youth.
  • 4. BROAD OUTLINE OF ACTIVITIES IN 2013 Beach Cleanup Ganpati Visarjan Vigil Mangrove Census Urban Educational Program • Anti-Noise Pollution Rallies • Natural Trails • Earth Day Celebration Restoration Activities Environmental Day celebration
  • 5. Beach Cleanup 1. Sindhudurg Coastal Cleanup - October 2nd 2013 • • • Held across 34 beaches in three talukas of Sindhudurg district Coordinated the event for better functioning with the schools, village Sarpanch`s, gram Sevaks and volunteers Volunteers on each beach cleaned the beaches with the help of school students and separated the bio-degradable and non-biodegradable waste 2. Cleanliness of Marve Beach – April 18th 2013 • Beach cleanup with D.A.V. school students from Marve, Malad • Discussion on Mangrove eco-systems
  • 6. Beach Cleanup
  • 7. Ganpati Visarjan Vigil 1. Held on September 18th 2013 at Powai Lake 2. Distributed newspaper bags made by the tribal women of SHG`s of Wada Taluka 3. Spread awareness about discouraging use of plastic bags
  • 8. Mangrove Census – Pilot Project 1. Held on September 5th 2013 2. Mangrove trees manually counted 3. In collaboration with Mangrove Cell of Mumbai and St. Xavier's Students 4. Conducted in Sewri, Bandra and Bhandup mangrove forests.
  • 9. Mangrove Census
  • 10. Urban Educational Program 1. Weekly classes held in several schools across Mumbai 2. Students are educated on environmental topics such as mangroves, conversation of water, biogeochemical cycles etc. 3. Activities like rallies, natural trails, earth day celebration come under this program 4. Schools participating in the program:• • • • • SKKES, Mulund Anjuman Islam, Bandra D.A.V., Malad Vidyadhiraja, Bhandup Vidyaben Gardi, Mulund
  • 11. Urban Educational Program 1. Curriculum includes discussion, activities, visits, visuals • • • • Discussion, debates and quizzes on environmental topics like mangroves, natural resources, ecosystems, clouds, etc. Activities like chart making, map marking, natural trails around school campus, placards on trees and clean up Field trips to Maharashtra Nature Park, Sanjay Gandhi National Park and Bhandup Wetlands Screening of environment related movies and PowerPoint presentations
  • 12. Classroom Discussion
  • 13. Water, Power and Cleanliness Audit
  • 14. Other Activities
  • 15. Anti - Noise Pollution Rally 1. Anti noise pollution and “No Honking” posters/banners made along with the students 2. Students marched in the areas around their school holding banners 3. Vehicles were stopped and educated about harmful effects of noise pollution
  • 16. Anti – Noise Pollution Rally
  • 17. Nature Trails 1. Vanashakti has conducted Nature Trails with many schools to:• Sanjay Gandhi National Park • Mahim Nature Park and • Wetlands of MMR
  • 18. Natural Trails
  • 19. Earth Day 2013 celebration 1. Held in D.A.V school, Malad on April 22nd 2013 2. Plantation of trees 3. Talk by the Range Forest Officer, Mangrove Department
  • 20. Restoration activities 1. International Mangrove Action Day - July 26th 2013 • Mangrove plantation conducted in Bhandup • Mangrove drawing competition held amongst students who were present 2. Afforestation Drive – July 3rd 2013 • Trees were planted with NSS students of DJ Sanghavi College in Vile Parle
  • 21. Restoration activities – International Mangrove Action Day
  • 22. Restoration activities – Afforestion Drive
  • 23. Environment Day 2013 celebration 1. Held in June 5th 2013 2. Plantation of saplings in degraded wetlands of the Thane creek in association with the Mangrove Cell of the state Forest Dept, Mumbai
  • 24. BROAD OUTLINE OF ACTIVITIES IN 2011-12 Mangroves and Wetland Interpretation Terrestrial Forest Interpretation Thematic Workshop Interaction with Fisher folks of Mumbai Interschool Teachers' Quiz Contest World Wetland Day Mahashivratri Vigil Gandhi Jayanti Celebration
  • 25. Mangrove & Wetland Interpretation Trails 1. Identification and understanding of: • Mangroves • Bird (waders, canopy dwellers, raptors) • Reptiles • Shell and fin fishes • Coastal communities (Agri-Koli) and fisheries 2. Estuarine and creek geography and ecology. 3. Importance of mangroves and wetlands. 4. Threats and conservation measures.
  • 26. Terrestrial Forest Interpretation 1. Biogeography of India. 2. Flora and fauna of terrestrial forests. 3. Identification of visible and audible fauna and flora. 4. Jungle survival. 5. Threats to forests. 6. Conservation issues and measures for PAs.
  • 27. Thematic Workshops 1. Workshops on the following environmental themes amongst others: • Flora and fauna • Mangrove ecosystem • Local fishing communities • Avifaunal diversity 2. Interactive sessions like quiz, debates etc.
  • 28. Interaction with Fisher folks of Mumbai 1. An insight into the lives of the fishing communities of Mumbai, the Agri and Koli communities. 2. Field visit to the creek areas and fishing jetties. 3. An informative session on the need for mangroves as a source of economy and livelihood to the fishing communities.
  • 29. Teachers’ Quiz Contest on Environment 1. Interschool quiz on environment and forests of India. 2. Two rounds – Selection (intra school) and final (inter school). • Round 1: Written with MCQs • Round 2: Oral.
  • 30. World Wetland Day
  • 31. Mangrove Clean-up (2011)  Clean up drive in the mangroves of Mumbai city (Bhandup).  Approx. 200 acres of mangroves were rid of nonbiodegradable waste using the help of the local fishing community volunteers.  Approx. 450 kg of waste comprising plastics, biomedical waste, rubber slippers etc. were collected.  Joint initiative between Vanashakti, Maharashtra State Forest Dept. (Thane forest circle), MCGM, Ekvira Aai Pratishthan (local NGO).
  • 32. Wetland Day –Banners (2011)  Informative banners on the importance of wetlands, their biodiversity, and on mangroves were put up on the premises of the Maharashtra State Forest Department (Thane Forest Circle) and the residential areas (adjoining mangrove forests) of the Dahisar Link Road.
  • 33. Mangrove Clean-up (2012)  Clean up drive in the mangroves of Mumbai city (Bhandup).  Approx. 100 acres of mangroves were rid of nonbiodegradable waste using the help of the local fishing community volunteers.  Approx. 300 kg of waste comprising plastics, biomedical waste, rubber slippers, thermocol etc. were collected.  Joint initiative between Vanashakti, Mangrove Society of India (MSI) Maharashtra State Forest Dept. (Thane forest circle), MCGM and Ekvira Aai Pratishthan (local NGO).
  • 34. Wetland Banner (2012)  The Maharashtra State Forest Department unveiled a signage announcing World Wetland Day.  The PCCF and other senior forest officials attended the program.  The signage was unveiled at the Mulund Airoli Link Road.  Vanashakti was an invitee to the occasion.
  • 35. Mangrove Walk (2012)  Wetland interpretation trail for the general public was announced.  Around 20 people joined the two hours trail in the mangrove forests of Bhandup, Mumbai.  Participants were briefed about the importance of mangroves for the city, their floral and faunal diversity etc.  Various wetland birds, insects and lesser mammals were spotted and identified.  A joint initiative between Vanashakti, MSI-Mumbai Chapter and other supporting partners.
  • 36. Wetland Birds’ Identification  Sessions organized for the general public in the creek area (Thane Creek an IBA) of Airoli, Navi Mumbai.  A session on bird identification, habitat use and preferences, breeding and feeding behaviors, and migratory behaviors and routes.
  • 37. Mahashivratri Vigil • Over 1 Lac people converge to the temple inside the national park during the festival of Mahashivratri • Hence, the vigil was held to :1. Regulate the flow of pilgrims in the forest 2. Prevent forest fires by confiscating match boxes 3. Reduce the influx of plastic bags and other non-biodegradables inside the forest 4. • Educate the masses on the need to protect the forests. Newspaper bags were distributed this year in lieu of the plastic bags that were confiscated from the pilgrims. • These newspaper bags were made by tribal women of Wada (SHGs)
  • 38. Gandhi Jayanti Celebration  Presentations on effects of consumerism on the natural resources of our country.  Presented to two schools of Mumbai.  Theme- Consumerism v/s Environmentalism.  Gandhian principles of simple living against today’s high consumerism and its impact on the natural resources, ecosystems, landscape of the country and on the lives of the inhabitants of rural and tribal areas , were highlighted in the presentation.
  • 40. Environmental Sensitization Workshop  A three-day orientation session on environment for the tribal students of Wada taluka (a predominantly tribal area facing rapid destruction of forests, amongst other environmental issues), Thane district.  Classroom sessions, backyard ecology sessions, self study and report-making.  Laid a base for a year-round education plan for the tribal school students of the region.
  • 41. Wada Taluka • Environmental Education program for the tribal communities has been started to conserve the biodiversity and the environment of the Tansa River valley basin where the Wada taluka is situated • Wada Taluka is going through severe degradation of its ecosystems due to deforestation, loss of top soil for brick making, illegal quarrying, etc • • • Rising temperatures and dropping of the water table are proof of desertification of this once lush green forest, It is also a cultural heritage site with rich biodiversity which is now being turned into an unregulated industrial sector Forest fires are frequent and is a common method used by tribals to hunt rabbits, wild boars, etc.
  • 42. Wada Taluka • The top soil is being sold by tribal landowners for brick making which in turn is causing air and land pollution. This has rendered the land unfit for cultivation post monsoons and the region witnesses severe flooding. • Moreover, transportation of the bricks and quarried material is destroying the local roads. • The exploitation of the trees for fire wood has caused the depletion of the area’s natural forests fragmenting the wildlife corridor connecting Tungareshwar and Tansa Sanctuaries. • Bamboo work artisans are without jobs today due to a complete loss of bamboo forests as a result of over exploitation.
  • 43. Environmental Education Program for the Adivasi Communities of Wada taluka, Maharashtra  A year round environmental education program for the 8th and 9th grades of Wada taluka.  Program run in six schools.  An in house syllabus made for the program.  Modules: Classroom sessions (interactives, group discussions, audio visuals), nature discovery trails, backyard ecology, do-ityourself, projects and report making.  Program run successfully and schools have requested for its continuation in the coming academic year.
  • 44.  Bark Autographs: Tracing bark texture of various species of trees.  Awareness of the Senses: An activity in which the child focuses on each of his/her senses everyday and notes down things that pleases it. It is observed that most of the things that please the 5 senses are natural not man made.  What I Need in a Day: A mini LCA. Listing a days requirements and assessing its origin, manufacturing process if any, life span and disposal.  Environmental News: Maintaining newspaper cuttings of environmental issues from various newspapers  Animals in My Village: Documenting the amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals and insects.  Plants in My Village: Documenting the various plant species and their economic and/or ethno botanical value.  Landscapes and Ecosystems in my Village and its Neighbourhood: Documenting the various ecosystems and their living and non-living components.  Map Making: Mapping the school, village, neighbourhood and the nearest town.  School Clean-up: Cleaning up the solid waste from the school, segregating and measuring each component.
  • 45. “Clean and Green Village Systems” • Summer camp for grade 8 students aimed to create a model eco-village in Kelthan in Wada Taluka • The model was created in premises of Learning Space Foundation, a local NGO providing supplementary education to the local tribal children since it is visited by both villagers and urbanites and seems to be an ideal location to create a model for future emulation. • Theme of the camp was “Solid Waste Management” and “Conservation of Groundwater” • Participants performed street plays in neighboring villages to spread awareness on the issue of waste management and groundwater conservation
  • 46. Clean and Green Village Systems – Waste Management • During a random solid waste survey conducted in the villages, it was found out that Learning Space generated 15 kg of dry waste (randomly discarded in 3 dumping yards) each week against the 55 kg of weekly dry waste that the villages collectively generated. • The NGO realized they needed a waste management plan put together at the earliest so as to effectively manage their waste handling and disposal. • Participants created an organized system of waste segregation and disposal • Bilingual labels were used for identifying the type of waste and its correct way of disposal
  • 47. Bilingual Charts for Appropriate Waste Disposal
  • 48. Clean and Green Village Systems – Waste Management • A compost pit was created for the disposal of wet waste • A roof was created on top of the pit from bamboo and discarded construction material from the village which is effectively maintained • An incineration pit was dug for the disposal of biomedical waste which was roofed using natural resources • Dry waste was recycled and arrangements were made for bhangaarwalas (Waste-recyclers) to come and collect the recyclable waste the village generated
  • 49. Compost Pit
  • 50. Incineration Pit
  • 51. Bhangaarwalas (Waste-Recyclers)
  • 52. Clean and Green Village Systems – Groundwater conservation • In order to save water and electricity bilingual signages regarding conservation of water and electricity were created • Informational sessions, theory classes as well as group discussions were conducted to generate awareness about groundwater and pollution • Ficus trees were usually cut down by villagers because they were deemed useless. However, Ficus helps in holding groundwater which is why Ficus saplings were transplanted to a location where they would not be felled when they are full grown trees.
  • 53. Bilingual Signages to conserve water and elecctricity
  • 54. Group Discussions
  • 55. Ficus Transplantation records
  • 56. Street plays • In order to create awareness among the local communities to prevent environmental degradation, street plays were conducted on various issues specific to the area of Wada Taluka • Plays of about 10-15 minutes duration, which began at about sunset and went on till dinner time, were conducted at various locations in different villages and hamlets. • These plays were effective, as they got the Panchayats to act. For example, dustbins were distributed in every household, and garbage bins were setup all across the villages. • All plays were performed by our environment education kids in 3 villages and 6 hamlets, targeting total population of 4000. • Most villagers now have stopped using plastic bags and other nonbiodegradables in the villages.
  • 57. Street Plays
  • 58. Conclusion Vanashakti believes that environmental education is an essential aspect of conservation of environment. The outreach activities should not confine itself to educational institutions but must also target the adults who are currently involved in activities that are actively or passively encouraging degradation of the environment. Informed people contribute more to the society and, therefore, with its efforts Vanashakti strives to increase environmental awareness. Throughout the years, Vanashakti has come up with different and creative programs that require public involvement both in urban and rural areas and will continue to do so in years to come. These programs of either small or large scale, make a difference in the society, towards the betterment of the environment for future generations.
  • 59. Thank You! For more information log on to our website