Forest staffers having meeting with villagers over. (Inset) First Chidiya Mitaan Anit.
By Roshan Chachane :
Keshkal Forest Division has taken up a unique initiative ‘Chidiya Mitaan’ at Kondagaon to protect the birds by explaining the importance of the role of birds in maintaining ecological balance to the locals. The regressive practice of bird hunting has plagued the tribal areas of Chhattisgarh. Kids could be often seen with catapults shooting down birds without realising that the birds they are killing so important to nature and thus to the humans.
Talking to The Hitavada, Keshkal Division Forest Officer Ganveer Dhammshil, told that once he was patrolling at Farasgaon when he came across a boy carrying catapult and small bullets. The kid told that it’s a popular activity at his village. Most of the kids and elders hunt birds. DFO Dhammshil persuaded the kids by explaining to him the importance of avian species. Birds are key to maintain ecological balance. When bees and other insects pollinate the flowers, birds play a double role as they not just pollinate but also spread seeds with their droppings, thereby making the forests rich & diverse. DFO’s words inspired the boy to work for the conservation of the birds.
A Class 8th student Anit, son of Jayaram, a resident of the village Diganar became the first Chidiya Mitaan at Kondagaon. Then a man Dhaniram Markam, son of Gorsuram, took up to the task of bird conservation as Chidiya Mitaan. Forest staffers are holding meetings with the villagers to convince them in joining the initiative. Children of forested villages are being roped in the task of conservation. The department isn’t just aiming at stopping the people from hunting the birds, but also attempting to bring about change in their habit.
Forest Department has issued a mobile number 9424292516 on which the students can contact to register as a Chidiya Mitaan. The officials are also trying to persuade people to surrender their catapult and bows and arrows. Tribal people hunt birds for different purposes like to eat, sell or to use the bird organs are medicines. Cutting down of dense forests and excessive use of fertilizers are some of the biggest reasons behind the declining population of birds.