New Delhi, Oct 5 (UNI) Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today exhorted children to affectionately protect nature to ensure a better future for the country.
Speaking at a function to mark one year completion of a Nature Trail at her residence 3, Moti Lal Nehru Place, the Chief Minister expressed satisfaction that a Nature Trail for children which was commissioned last year, just in the midst of a city which is generally described as a jungle of concrete, had proved to be a catalyst force in bringing awareness about preservation of environment.
Talking about the various greening efforts of her Government, the Chief Minister said nine new city forests, commissioned by the state Government to provide habitat to Wildlife, have been set up in the Capital city with which number of city forests have gone upto 14.
The Nature Trail and visitor Centre, set up in lush green residential bungalow which has exotic and indigenous trees like Imli, Neem and Babul, provide habitats to bats, birds, reptiles and small mammals.
The Trail winds around the bungalow and passes around the Terminalia arjuna tree with hanging fruit bats. There exist 59 species of birds which live in close harmony with each other.
Set up by the World Wide Fund for Nature-India Secretariat at the initiative of the Chief Minister under the green school education programme, Nature Trail and visitor Centres/activity room have contributed substantially in developing an awareness and appreciation of the area and in a large sense, a sensitivity towards nature and its forms amongst children.
More than 2000 students from Eco Clubs of 90 schools visited this Nature Trail last year. The students from different schools visit the Nature Trail on every Tuesday and Friday. Teachers of various school Eco Clubs have been trained as guide to provide useful information in Nature Trail. Resource persons from WWF, Department of Environment narrate about the Trail.
On the occason of its first foundation day today, a colourful function was organized at 3, Motilal Nehru Place where around 200 children from 15 schools were present.
A Nookad Natak to highlight need of WildlLife Protection was presented and a film on Animal Rights was also screened. Well-known environmentalist and Green Oscar Awardee Mike Pandey along with Ms Dikshit interacted with school children on various issues relating to environment and Wildlife Protection.
Environment Secretary J K Dadoo also presented his views on the subject.
This programme was also organised as part of the ongoing World Wildlife Week, as part of which the Department of Environment has decided to present Nookad Nataks till October 8 at prominent locations in Delhi like Connaught Place, Karol Bagh and Dilli Haat.