Chasing butterflies

Updated: Apr 21, 2020, 09:52 IST | The Guide Team | Mumbai

A six-week course adapted to the lockdown will help you build a butterfly garden to hone the naturalist in you

The blue oakleaf in the six-week-long course
The blue oakleaf in the six-week-long course

Dubbed the Butterfly Man of India, Isaac Kehimkar, chairman and director, iNaturewatch, first started watching butterflies after college. He wishes though, that he had started sooner. In an attempt to introduce others to this fascinating world, he will be conducting a six-week-long beginner's course on butterflies. "It teaches you how to watch them, how to attract them and makes you fall in love with them. I discovered India through them," Kehimkar says about his passion.

Will also talk about the baronet
Will also talk about the baronet

The course was scheduled before the lockdown was announced and included field visits to gardens. But now, it will be a strictly indoors course. "We will help participants create their own windowsill butterfly garden instead so you don't have to go outside to watch them," explains Kehimkar, recounting two senior members in a batch who created their own butterfly gardens in Matunga and Dadar. While the course, he tells us, is meant for beginners, those interested can pursue further studies in the subject. "The course will enable participants to distinguish the vast number of butterfly species in India and learn how to document them, too," says Kehimkar, adding that it is a healthy hobby and inculcates a love for nature. "It can turn children into naturalists, and teach them to conserve and protect the environment. Studying butterflies is also important for understanding climate change," he says.

Isaac Kehimkar
Isaac Kehimkar

The course will be interactive with guest lectures every Sunday including one by Dr V Shubhalaxmi, founding member, iNaturewatch. "We will also assist students with queries on WhatsApp groups and remain in touch after the course," Kehimkar says. One of the advantages of an interest in butterflies, he explains, is being able to attend international conferences even as an amateur. "Unlike other fields, most conferences are open to those interested in learning about butterflies," he says.

On May 1 onwards
Log on to inaturewatch.org
Cost Rs 3,000

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