“Green leaf teaches more than the white leaf in the classroom. We need to connect the youth with nature and inspire them to take actions for conservation.”
Biodiversity, the variability amongst all living organisms (Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, 1992), underpins ecosystem services. Ecosystem services provide benefits for human well-being (Leibel, 2012), resources for business operations (Grigg, Cullen, Foxall, et al., 2009) (Annelisa, Crosbie & Jamison, 2008) and value for global and local economies (Carroll, 2007). However, human influence on the natural environment has triggered the sixth major extinction event of species (Chapin, Zavaleta, Eviner, et al., 2000), propelling rate of biodiversity loss as a planetary boundary beyond its safe operating space for humanity (Rockström, Steffen & Noone, 2009).
There have been a lot of changes in the environment of our country in the past five decades due to rapid development. Addition to this, climate change is a very big threat to the world, all human beings are affected by this problem. One of the impacts of the climate change is the imbalance in the biodiversity. It is very important that our youth should be aware of these changes as they are the next generation to take care of this planet. Parvinder, a teacher in Delhi school have started a project “PRAYAS (An initiative)” in his school in April 2017. The objectives of this project are: to make students citizen scientists, to make students aware of the impact of imbalance in ecological balance and to inculcate values among students through the teaching of science.
“PRAYAS” as a project is assigned to the students and are encouraged to make nests and bird feeders. “PRAYAS” helped the students to understand the concept of biodiversity, habitat, adaptation, characteristics of birds, food chain, food web, conservation of forests etc. Ideas are given to the students by showing models of birdhouses and bird feeders and also guide them how to make these birdhouses, bird feeders and bird water feeders. Project
“PRAYAS” is demonstrated with the help of PPT, Video and pictures forms, published on YOUTUBE, INSTAGRAM, and GOOGLE PLUS and practised in the classroom with a large number of students too.
Birdhouses are made up of wood for cooling effect and they are eco-friendly too. Birdhouses are installed on trees in good sunlight. The holes of nests are small for not allowing a bigger bird to enter, a stick is fixed at the entrance of each nest so that bird can sit properly.
Bird feeder and bird water feeders are made from waste material, filled with water and seeds are placed near to Birdhouses. Birdhouses, bird baths and bird feeders are made from waste materials so expenditure is negligible.
On Dated-08/05/2017 first bird Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) occupied the first house and made its nest. The eggs were hatched after about 13 to 14 days. Nestlings opened their eyes after about 5 days and fledged in about 21 days. Also, in this year (2018) one of the birdhouses has been occupied on 21 March by common myna.
Number and species of birds like Oriental Magpie Robin (Copysychus saularis), Common Tailorbird (Orthotomus sutorius), Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) White Throated Kingfisher (Halcyon smyrnensis), Purple Sunbird (Nectarinia asitica), Red-Vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus flaviventris), Dove and Butterflies are increasing in school. It has become easy for students to understand the concept of biodiversity and has inspired them to take small actions to conserve biodiversity.
In this way learning and teaching of science has come out of the horizon of classroom and students are learning by doing and becoming sensitised and motivated to conserve biodiversity. Students are becoming aware of the importance of biodiversity in our life too. CHINAR is guiding Parvinder to shape his project and make it hands-on for the students and also in reaching to other citizens.
Project PRAYAS has the potential to aware the people about conservation of biodiversity by becoming citizen scientists. PRAYAS can help students to choose environmental science as a career. With the help of internet community named DELHI BIODIVERSITY on GOOGLE PLUS, Parvinder is making people aware of the biodiversity of Delhi (India).
PRAYAS got the FIRST position in State level science, mathematics & environment exhibition 2017-18, Organised by Directorate of Education, Government of National Capital Territory Delhi, India.
Parvinder Kumar, Teacher (Natural Science), GBSSS No1 Ghonda, GNCTD, Delhi/India
Pradeep Mehta, Founder Chairman CHINAR www.chinarindia.com