By Anil Kumar
There is an old saying: “If you want to change the environment, start planting a sapling. And if you want to change a generation, start educating the children”. Children are the torchbearers of any change in society if they are guided and motivated rightly from the beginning.
The great Indian bustard (GIB) in the Thar landscape is facing existential crisis today, and Jaisalmer in Rajasthan is known to be the only breeding population left in the wild. Education is the essence of awareness in the community, and to make the communities aware of the plight of the last remaining GIBs in the wild, we are working with them in the villages around Desert National Park (DNP) and Pokhran area to spread this message.
To motivate children in acquiring education, we were requested to provide support by the school administration from the surrounding villages of DNP. The most common request by the school administration was to provide tables and stools for students to sit on, followed by floor mats and IT infrastructure. In our first initiative for better education, we are providing 300 sets of tables and stools to five schools – Sipla, Barna, Kumbhar Kotha, Ghuliya and Beedha near the DNP. We hope to continue this association with schools with much more similar support and making the local communities our partners in our GIB conservation efforts.