To mark the occasion of World Environment Day on June 5, authorities from Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) together with Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) have hit on a novel idea to increase forest and environment conservation awareness among school kids in the city. In an exercise that would bring school kids closer to nature, SGNP and MPCB officials plan to take students for a picnic to the National Park, Borivli.
Starting from the second week of June, students — Std IV to VII — from one school will be taken every Saturday for a picnic-cum-educational trip. MPCB spokesperson Sanjay Bhuskute said, “Next month, MPCB along with SGNP will be starting a new initiative wherein we will take school children on a day-picnic to SGNP, so that we can educate them about the importance of environment and wildlife conservation.” Apart from the excitement that students will experience while travelling to the park, they will be given detailed information about wildlife conservation, and why it should be preserved.
According to the itinerary, after lunch students will be shown a short film that will give them an insight into the forest, the flora, fauna and animals. After this they will be taken to the main attraction of the park — the lion and tiger safari. “Environment and wildlife experts will also give students a brief lecture on the importance of environment and wildlife conservation. We will also explain to them how every individual person can help in protecting the environment,” said Bhuskute.
Initially, BMC schools will be taken through this initiative. “There are many private schools that come for picnics to SGNP, but students from BMC schools rarely get a chance to visit the park. So, BMC schools will be given preference over private schools,” said Bhuskute. Students will also be enlightened on leopards, and a brief lecture on human-leopard conflict management will also be given.According to sources, MPCB has plans to inaugurate this proposal at the hands of CM Prithviraj Chavan, and a local NGO will also be assisting SGNP and MPCB in this initiative.