TRUST FOR ENVIRONMENT EDUCATION, CONSERVATION & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
In the months of October-November, slide shows, on environmental issues such as ‘Saving the Olive Ridley’ were conducted in 11 Panchayat, Aided and Private Schools along the East Coast Road covering 4965 children, educating them about the life cycle, nesting habits and treats to the Olive Ridley and how the children in their own little way can help to protect them during the nesting months. Folk media like puppetry, street plays, songs, Villupattu and sand modeling is also used. The local people are encouraged in inventing their own methods and characters.
Awareness programs are also conducted at the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and A.A. Zoological Park, Vandaloor for interested school children and youth belonging to the Fishing Villages. Here they are inducted into the world of Nature. They come into close contact with snakes, monitor lizards, turtles etc. and instructed in the role that all creatures play in making our world a unique place as well as our dependence/inter-dependence on them. As one young man from the Neelangarai fishing village said: “we have been taking from the ocean all our lives, now it is time for us to show our gratitude”.
Apart from our Sea Turtle Conservation programs, TREE Foundation also held a Peace March on Sept. 11, 2003 and 2004 which is the U N Peace Day. As we are a member of Dr. Jane Goodall’s ‘Roots & Shoots International Network’ we decided to take part in a program that was being held all over the World by member groups of this Network.
In 2003, two giant sized Peace Doves were made using old bed sheets (Donated by Sri Ramachandra Medical College) and recycled materials and was carried with the help of 45 children and 130 youth from the fishing villages together with friends of TREE Foundation down the East Coast Road from Periya Neelangarai fishing village to Injambakkam, a distance of 3km, carrying the message of Peace.
In 2004, seven doves were made and carried by school children from five schools.
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