Watchers With Wings as the name says this pilot project was started with an intention to provide some moral freedom and responsibility to the forest watchers in the Bannerghatta Area. The forest watchers are at the grass root level and we consider them as the lead role in saving or shaving our forest expanse. The program aims to orient them in such a way that in due course(2 years) they get a moral responsibility and develop love towards nature because of which they may not consider their work as a mode of bread earning but rather as a national responsibility. Since the whole program works on a positive basis their illegal activities are not highlighted in a complaint manner but they are made aware that forest is a national asset and should be saved for the progeny.
On saturday the 25th of August one of such programs was initiated under “Project Kaanana”. In the first phase as an incentive, Watchers and Guards both temporary and permanent staff were provided hunter shoes and woolen socks. A total of 83 pairs each costing Rs. 300 was spent from the Mission as one of the effort towards conserving the Bannerghatta Area. A nature song and a self composed short skit(Deepak and his friends) on why forests are important was presented by the old students of Sri Ramakrishna Vidya Kendra, Shivanahalli now studying in RV High school and Loyola College. Sri Gokul, Conservator of Wildlife(vigilance) was the chief guest. In his message he applauded the work done by the Forest department and pointed out that how the work of this department is different from other departments. He also pointed out the work of his department’s staff is no less than the Army. A short quiz using a multimedia projector was also conducted. The factual questions were reduced to one round and others were based on their observations for eg. How the hunting of Wild Dogs is different from that of Tiger or leopard? Where and how do the green bee eaters nest? What is the relationship between bison and cattle egrets? If there are 100 tigers in front of you what parameters do you use to differentiate? Observe the difference between African and Indian Elephants etc. The outcome was more than expected and they could not control their curiosity in answering other group questions also. The winners were prized by caps.
Mission intends to continue such orientation programs in a periodical basis and none the less support in the form of resource persons, in the form of finance for providing incentives(for the next it may be their uniforms) are welcome.