News and Events
CONSERVATION AWARENESS PROGRAMMES” ON THE OCCASION OF “WORLD POPULATION DAY” FOR SCHOOL CHILDREN AT HARIDWAR, UTTARAKHAND ON 11th July, 2019
On the occasion of ‘World Population Day,’ a conservation awareness programme was organised to sensitize the students on how the relentless human population explosion along the Ganga and the resulting demand for food and other resources, has burdened the Ganga river. The programme was conducted on 11th July 2019 at Jwalapur Inter College, Haridwar for the students of class 6th to 12th with the aim to explain and sensitize about the conservation of biodiversity of Ganga River and its importance to human life and how over-increase in the human population is creating a threat to Ganga and its aqualife conservation. A total of 900 students and 15 teachers participated in the awareness programme. The programme started with the registration of participants. Thereafter Dr. Sangeeta Angom explained about the WII-NMCG “Biodiversity and Ganga Conservation” project and its objectives through a presentation. Along with this she also informed about the different aquatic species that are found in the Ganga River and their importance. Other than this, a series of activities and exercises related to Ganga’s biodiversity was conducted for students of class 6th to 8th. The workshop concluded by distribution of the prizes, certificates to the winners of the quiz and exercises. Species information brochures, caps and refreshments were also distributed to the participants.
AWARENESS WORKSHOP FOR GANGA PRAHARI – 26TH JUNE 2019, KOLKATA, WEST BENGAL
The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in collaboration with the West Bengal Forest Department organized one day awareness workshop for Ganga Praharis at Bana Bhawan, Salt lake, Kolkata, West Bengal. This workshop was held under the Project “Biodiversity and Ganga Conservation”, a Nammai Gange initiative.
The workshop marked the presence of Sh. Rabindra Saha, DCF/DFO (Barrackpore), Sh. Saurav Gawan, Conservation biologist from WII and thirty Ganga Praharis from different parts of West Bengal.
During the second session the participants were introduced to the role and responsibilities of being a Ganga Praharis and importance of involving local communities for ensuring sustainability of the conservation efforts. Since conservation of Ganga Aqualife is the ultimate goal of the project, a session highlighting the Biodiversity of Ganga River was also held. Sh. Gawan informed them about the rescue and rehabilitation center that is being developed in Barrakpore, West Bengal.
The workshop was unique in a way that a special session was introduced where the Ganga Praharis were demonstrated on handling of species of Ganga River with the use of cloth models (replica of the species). These techniques can be used by the Ganga Praharis in case they sight an animal in distress in their surroundings. Presence of the State Forest Official Sh. R.N. Saha, made the event special as he shared his field expereinces with participants. He emphasized that any program or policy or law can work best when various stakeholder groups come together and awareness workshop such as this is one such event. He further added that the West Bengal Forest Department looks forward to this collaboration as a success for times to come and work for a cause of conserving nature and natural resources. YouTube episodes on Ganga Prahari “A life less ordinary- Ganga Prahari the guardians of the Ganga” and the Namami Gange Official Song were also screened for the participants. The workshop ended with a discussion session on how we can come contribute and work at an individual level for a clean and vibrant Ganga.
STATE LEVEL TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR GANGA PRAHARIS ON “BIODIVERSITY MONITORING AND RESCUE AND REHABILITATION TECHNIQUES OF AQUATIC SPECIES OF GANGA RIVER” ON 22ND and 23RD JUNE, 2019 AT BHAGALPUR, BIHAR.
A state level two days training workshop on ‘Biodiversity Monitoring and rescue and rehabilitation techniques of Aquatic Species of Ganga River’ was organized for the Ganga Praharis of Bihar on 22nd and 23rd June, 2019, at Aranya Bhawan, Sundarvan, Bhagalpur. The aim of the workshop was to develop the capacity of the Ganga Praharis about the biodiversity of Ganga River, their conservation, and on rescue and rehabilitation techniques. 50 Ganga Praharis from Munger, Kahalgan, Naugachia, along with 10 students of T.M.B.U College, Bhagalpur participated in the workshop.
STATE LEVEL TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR FOREST OFFICIALS ON “BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION AND MONITORING TECHNIQUES OF AQUATIC SPECIES OF GANGA RIVER” ON 20TH AND 21ST JUNE, 2019 AT BHAGALPUR, BIHAR.
The Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun conducted a two day state level training workshop on “Biodiversity conservation and monitoring techniques of aquatic species of Ganga River” on 20th and 21st June, 2019 at Aranya Bhawan, Sundarvan, Bhagalpur for Bihar Forest Department officials. The aim of the workshop was to augment knowledge of forest staff about the biodiversity of Ganga River, their conservation, management and the challenges associated therein. 38 forest officials inclusive of DFOs, RFOs and frontline staff participated in the workshop from 8 forest divisions viz., Bhagalpur, Munger, Kahalgaon, Supaul, Banka, Jamui, Birpur, Purnea and Araria; and one forest range Kahalgaon, of the Bihar forest department. Spearhead team members from the Bihar Forest Department also participated in this program and assisted in organising this workshop. The workshop comprised of two technical sessions, viz. monitoring biodiversity and participatory management and field visit to the Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary in Bhagalpur. A group activity was also conducted to highlight the importance of coordination between frontline forest staff, higher officials and the community for better conservation of Ganga and its biodiversity
CELEBRATION OF WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY AT GOVERNMENT INTER COLLEGE, HARSIL, UTTARAKHAND (5TH JUNE, 2019) .
World Environment Day 2019 was celebrated at Government Inter College, Harsil, Uttarakhand on 7th June 2019 by Education for Biodiversity Conservation Team (NMCG Project).
WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY CELEBRATION AT THE ASHOK HOTEL, NEW DELHI ON 5TH JUNE, 2019.
An event was organized by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), on 5th June, 2019, to celebrate World Environment day, at The Ashok, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi. Hon’ble Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Government of India, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, was the Chief Guest of the event. The dignitaries on the dais included Shri Rattan Lal Kataria, Hon’ble Minister of State for Jal Shakti and Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India; Shri U.P Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti; Shri Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General, NMCG; Shri G. Asok Kumar, Mission Director, National Water Mission & Executive Director (Projects), NMCG; and Dr. Jasper Wieck, Deputy Head of Mission, German Embassy, New Delhi. Eminent policy planners, scientists and conservationists representing NMCG, Wildlife Institute of India (WII), The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), World Wide fund (WWF), and Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, graced the occasion with their presence. 70 Ganga Praharis from five Ganga River states, project personnel of the NMCG-WII project ‘Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation’ and awardees of the Ganga Quest 2019, also participated in the event.
“WORLD TURTLE DAY” CELEBRATION ACROSS GANGA STATES ON 23rd MAY 2019
The Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun and National Mission for Clean Ganga under the project “Biodiversity and Ganga Conservation” organized a “Sensitization and Conservation awareness programme” on the occasion of World Turtle day on 23rd May 2019 across the Ganga states. The event was organized to spread awareness among the school children about the significance of biodiversity conservation of Ganga River, with a focus on turtle species of Ganga river and their significance to the environment. The event was conducted by WII team comprising of Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Ms. Suneeta Rawat, Ms. Monika Mehralu, Mr. Rahil Khan, Mr. Keshav Kumar, Mr. Ratish Singh, Ms. Camellia Biswas, and Ganga Praharis from Uttarkashi, Varanasi and Narora.
A sensitization and conservation awareness programme was organised at Government Girls Inter College, Uttarkashi. More than 200 middle school and high school students (class 6th to 11th), 3 teachers and 3 Ganga Praharis attended the programme. Dr. Sangeeta Angom, gave an overview of Ganga and its biodiversity, and the efforts being made by the Government of India, for conservation. Various activities including quiz were organized for the students. Subsequently, an interactive session was held, during which the participants were introduced to aquatic faunal species found in Ganga river including turtles and tortoise. Besides thorough description of turtles and tortoise was provided to the participants. The students were given mementoes, certificates and publications at the end of the event.
VARANASI, UTTAR PRADESH
NARORA, UTTAR PRADESH
SENSITIZATION WORKSHOP ON “FOREST FIRE MANAGEMENT TO SAVE THE BIODIVERSITY OF UTTARKASHI FORESTS” ON 22ND MAY, 2019
A Sensitization workshop was organised in collaboration with spearhead team of Uttarakhdn Forest Department from Uttarkashi on “Forest Fire Management to save the biodiversity of Uttarkashi forests” on 22nd May, 2019 at Mando Village, Uttarkashi. The program aimed at augmenting capacities of forest staff at various levels in managing biodiversity conservation and calamities at emergent situation. DFO Sandeep Kumar gave a talk on Forest Fire Management in terms of saving the biodiversity. He conferred on how participation of ‘Van Panchayats’ and local communities is very important when it comes to instant control of forest fires. The WII team discussed various aspects of conservation of biodiversity of Ganga River and related issues with the forest department and how their association will further help in mobilizing the idea of conservation among the local villagers. A total of 60 participants attended the workshop.
“INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY” CELEBRATION ACROSS GANGA RIVER STATES ON 22ND MAY, 2019
The Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun and National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) under the project “Biodiversity and Ganga Conservation” celebrated “International day for Biological Diversity” on 22nd May 2019 across Ganga River States. The theme of the 2019 International day for Biological Diversity was ‘Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health’.
VARANASI, UTTAR PRADESH
WII team comprised of Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Scientist & Training Coordinator; Ms. Suneeta Rawat, Community Officer; Dr. Rajeev Chauhan, Conservation Officer; Ms. Monika Mehralu, Assistant Training Coordinator; Mr. Akshay Bajaj, Research Fellow; Ms. Advaita Ravindran, Project Assistant, Mr. Keshav Kumar, Project assistant; Mr. Ratish Singh, Project Assistant; Ms. Camellia Biswas, Intern.
3rd MEETING OF THE MONITORING COMMITTEE AT WII, DEHRADUN ON 18TH MAY 2019
The 3rd Meeting of the Monitoring Committee of the Project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation: A WII – NMCG Initiative, sponsored by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) under its Namami Gange programme was held at the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun on 18th May 2019, under the chairmanship of Shri Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General, NMCG. Shri Rajiv Kishore, Executive Director (Administration), NMCG, Shri G. Asok Kumar, Mission Director, National Water Mission & Executive Director (Projects), NMCG, Shri Arun Singh Rawat, Director, Forest Research Institute of India, Dr. Arun Kumar, Director, Dolphin Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Dehra Dun, Dr. Sandeep Behera, Biodiversity Consultant, NMCG, Dr. V.B. Mathur, Director, WII attended the meeting. The meeting was also attended by Shri Sunil Kumar, Assistant EE, NMCG” representatives from SPMG Uttarakhand; faculty co-ordinators and researchers working in the WII-NMCG project.
The meeting started with the welcome of the monitoring committee members. After a round of introductions, the committee members were given a brief on the project. Presentations on the objectives, approaches and progress under the six components were given by the component coordinators. The committee members were appreciative about the project approach and the progress achieved so far. The Committee visited the GACMC facilities, especially ecotoxicology and conservation genetics laboratories and expressed their satisfaction. The Chairman assured full support for improving the facilities.
“WORLD MIGRATORY BIRD DAY” CELEBRATION ACROSS GANGA STATES ON 11th MAY, 2019
The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) under the NMCG-WII’s “Biodiversity and Ganga Conservation” project celebrated “World Migratory Bird Day” on 11th May 2019 in different schools and colleges across the Ganga states. The theme of this year was ‘Protect Birds: Be the solution to Plastic Pollution’. The objective of the celebration was to create awareness among youth and Bal Ganga Praharis towards Ganga’s biodiversity, focusing on migratory birds of Ganga basin and sensitization towards effects of plastic pollution on the biodiversity of the Ganga River, with special reference to different species of migratory birds, their characteristics, threats and the need for the conservation and their habitat.
VARANASI, UTTAR PRADESH
NARORA, UTTAR PRADESH
EARTH WEEK CELEBRATION ACROSS GANGA STATES ON 22ND – 28TH APRIL 2019
Earth Week was celebrated from 22nd to 28th April, 2019 across five Ganga States. A series of special events and activities were carried out for Bal Ganga Praharis and teachers at different schools and Ghats. This year the theme of the Earth day (22nd April) was ‘Protect Our Species’. The objective of celebrating this week was to promote Ganga’s biodiversity conservation and create environmental awareness on different ecological issues like contamination of the river, solid waste, protection and conservation of the endangered and rare species.
The awareness programmes were held from 22nd to 28th April, 2019 at 30 sites; Dehradun, Uttarkashi, Rishikesh, Haridwar (Uttarakhand); Dhaka, Rampur, Molnapur, Sujabaad, Domri in Varanasi, Prayagraj, Kannauj, Farrukabaad, Narora (Uttar Pradesh); Nahkar, Naugachia,Bhagalpur (Bihar); Sahibganj (Jharkhand) respectively. A total of 2065 students, 117 teachers and 127 Ganga Praharis participated in the event across the Ganga States. In Uttarakhand, the programme was attended by 444 students, 12 teachers and 4 Ganga Praharis; in Uttar Pradehs 651 students, 76 teachers and 114 Ganga Praharis participated in the events, while in Bihar and Jharkhand 530 students, 29 teachers and 7 Ganga Praharis from Bihar; and 440 students, and 2 Ganga Praharis participated in the events, respectively.
The event was conducted by WII team comprising of Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Ms. Suneeta Rawat, Dr. Heena Khan, Ms. Monika Mehralu, Ms. Amanat Gill, Ms. Advaita Ravindran, Mr. Rahil Khan, Mr. Akshay Bajaj, Mr. Keshav Kumar, Mr. Ratish Singh, Ms. Keara Bakshi. These events also saw presence of Ganga Praharis, such as Mr. Pawan Katiyar (Farrukkabaad), Mr. Manoj Nishad (Haridwar), Ms. Radhika (Uttarkashi), Ms. Rama Tiwari (Kannauj), Mr. Deepak Kumar (Bhagalpur), Mr. Gyan Chand Gyani (Bhagalpur).
INSTALLATION OF INAUGURAL PLAQUE AT GANGA DARPAN AND GANGA TARINI, ON 7TH MARCH 2019
The Interpretation Centre set up by the Wildlife Institute of India under the Namami Gange Project at Sarnath and “Ganga Tarini”, floating exhibition on a Bajra were inaugurated during a function at New Delhi on 27 February 2019 by the Hon’ble Union Minister Shri Arun Jaitley, Shri Nitin Gadkari and Shri Dharmendra Pradhan. The inaugural plaque were placed on 7th March 2019 in the presence of Shri Pawan Kumar, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest and Head of Forest Force, Uttar Pradesh, Dr. V.B. Mathur, Director, Wildlife Institute of India and Dr. Bitapi C Sinha, Component Co-ordinator, Wildlife Institute of India at the Interpretation Centre building and the Bajra. Also present on the occasion were Shri R.K. Pandey, CCF, Varanasi, and the project team.
“CONSERVATION AWARENESS PROGRAMME FOR BAL GANGA PRAHARIS’’ AT DIVYAKUMBH, PRAYAGRAJ, UTTAR PRADESH ON 27TH FEBRUARY, 2019
The Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun and National Mission for Clean Ganga under the project “Biodiversity and Ganga Conservation” organized a “Conservation awareness programme” for Bal Ganga Praharis at Namami Gange stall, Kumbh, Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh on 27th February, 2019. A total of 178 middle school and high school students (class 8th, 9th and 11th), 6 teachers and 16 Ganga Praharis attended the programme. The objective was to spread the awareness among the school children about the significance of biodiversity conservation in Ganga River. The guests included a panel of experts, Prof. Brijgopal, President, National Institute of Ecology, Dr. Sitaram Taigore, Environmental Expert, SPMG, and Dr. Rajeev Chauhan, Conservation Officer, WII, who were welcomed by Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Training Coordinator and Project Scientist. Dr. Angom provided an overview of Ganga and its biodiversity, and the efforts being taken by the Wildlife Institute of India for its conservation. Prof. Brijgopal addressed the gathering and talked about the need for appropriate measures for groundwater recharge to rejuvenate the Ganga River. Dr. Tagore discussed the importance for central and state coordination for the smooth functioning of the Namami Gange project, while Dr. Rajeev Chauhan highlighted the importance of biodiversity conservation for Ganga River. The students and teachers were then asked to give their feedbacks based on the information disseminated. This was followed by a visit to the exhibitions of the various institutions working under the NMCG banner. The students were given mementos and publications at the end of the event, in order to motivate and inspire the students towards sustained action as the Bal Ganga Prahari. WII team comprised of Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Dr. Rajeev Chauhan, Ms. Advaita Ravindran, Mr. Rahil Khan, Mr. Keshav Kumar and Mr. Ratish Singh.
RELEASE OF PUBLICATIONS AND INAUGURATION OF THE “PRAVASI GANGA PRAHARI” PROGRAMME AND ITS WEBSITE, INTERPRETATION CENTRES “GANGA TARINI”, “GANGA DARPAN” ON 27TH FEBRUARY 2019
An event “Clean Ganga Movement” was organized by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) on 27th February 2019, at Dr. D.S. Kothari Auditorium, DRDO Bhawan. Hon’ble Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affair, Government of India, Shri Arun Jailtely, was the Chief Guest of the event. The event was presided by Shri Nitin Gadkari, Hon’ble Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Road Transport Highways & Shipping, Government of India. The dignitaries on the dais included Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, Government of India, Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, Hon’ble Minster of State Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation and Parliamentary Affairs, Government of India, Dr. Satya Pal Singh, Hon’ble Minister of State Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation and Human Resources Development, Government of India, Smt. Hema Malini, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Smt. M.C. Mary Kom, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Shri U.P. Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Trichur Brothers – Shri Srikrishna Mohan and Shri Ramkumar Mohan, Shri Prasoon Joshi, Chairperson, Central Board for Film Certification, Shri Rajeev Ranjan Mishra, Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga.
The “Pravasi Ganga Prahari” programme and its website, the floating interpretation centre at Varanasi “Ganga Tarini” and interpretation centre at Sarnath “Ganga Darpan” were inaugurated by Shri Arun Jaitley. Pravasi Ganga Prahari programme aims to actively engage non-resident Indians, foreigners and global citizens as “Pravasi Ganga Praharis” through activities that would assist NMCG’s efforts in Ganga conservation. “Ganga Darpan” an interpretation centre has been setup in the premises of Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, Sarnath, while “Ganga Tarini” is a floating exhibition in Varanasi. These centres showcase the Ganga River as an integral part of our lives since ancient times. These interpretation centres will sensitize people about the role of aquatic biodiversity in keeping the Ganga River clean and the threats faced by the Ganga River and its biodiversity. These centres will serve as knowledge and activity centres.
Afterwards the publications “Biodiversity Profile of Ganga River”, “Conservation Reference Guide Rescue and Rehabilitation of Freshwater Turtles and Crocodilians”, “Pravasi Ganga Prahari brochure”, were released by the dignitaries on the dais. The book “Biodiversity Profile of Ganga River” provides information on the distribution and abundance of select aquatic species of Ganga River based on intensive sampling of 32 sites, from Harshil in Uttarakhand to Ganga Sagar in West Bengal. While the conservation guide presents concise and practical information on the protocols and processes for the scientific and ethical handling of freshwater turtles and crocodilians in distress. This guide will be helpful in following the appropriate procedure and addressing emergent situations scientifically.
These interpretation centres and publications are significant output of the project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” funded by the National Mission for Clean Ganga. During this event the dignitaries appealed for clean Ganga through actions and also by monetary contributions to the Clean Ganga Fund.
CONSULTATION WORKSHOP ON “ROLE OF VARIOUS STAKEHOLDERS IN GANGA AQUALIFE CONSERVATION” AT SERAMPORE COLLEGE, WEST BENGAL ON 8TH FEBRUARY, 2019
A consultation workshop on “Role of various stakeholders in Ganga Aqualife Conservation” was organized in CLRC Hall, Serampore College, West Bengal on 8th February, 2019. The aim was to mobilize all stakeholders towards biodiversity conservation of Ganga River and provide a platform for interaction and work cohesively for cleanliness and conservation of biodiversity in West Bengal. A total of 115 participants from six NGOs (Simultala Conservationists, Nature Mates Nature Club, Green Plateau, Bakuli Aid Foundation, Wish Foundation, Jharkhali Sabuj Bahini), Hooghly-Chinsura Municipality, West Bengal Forest Department personnel, Baidyabati, Serampore, teachers & students of Vidyasagar University, Rammohan College, Lalbaba College and Serampore College participated in this programme. Representatives from NGOs showcased their activities in the interactive session. Resource persons from WII Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Dr. Shivani Barthwal, Mrs. Hemlata Khanduri, Dr. Deepika Dogra, Ms. Monika Mehralu, Ms. Michelle Irengbam, Ms. Suchismita Das and WII_NMCG trained professors and students of Serampore College spoke on various aspects of Conservation of Biodiversity of Ganga River and related issues.
MEETING WITH SPIRITUAL LEADER ISKCON, MAYAPUR, WEST BENGAL ON “INTEGRATING THE SPIRITUAL VALUE IN GANGA BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION” ON 7TH FEBRUARY, 2019
A meeting with the spiritual and religious leader of ISKCON temple at Mayapur, West Bengal was held on 7th February, 2019. The meeting aimed at involving spiritual leaders in maintenance of wholesomeness and integrity of the Ganga River. The meeting was conducted with Spiritual leader Sri Jagadartiha Das, Sri Sunder Govindas, Shri Santa Gauranga Das and project team members comprised of Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Mrs. Hemlata Khanduri, Dr. Deepika Dogra, Ms. Monika Mehralu and Ms. Michelle Irengbam. The WII team discussed various aspects of conservation of biodiversity of Ganga River and related issues with the spiritual leaders.
COMMUNITY MOBILIZATION IN COLLABORATION WITH SPEARHEAD TEAM OF WEST BENGAL FOREST DEPARTMENT AND GANGA PRAHARIS AT NAYACHAR, NADIA, WEST BENGAL ON 6TH FEBRUARY, 2019
Community interaction, assisted by the spearhead team of West Bengal Forest Department and Ganga Praharis was organized at Nayachar, Nadia district, West Bengal on 6th February, 2019. During the interaction role and active involvement of the Ganga Praharis and stakeholders at various levels was discussed. With respect to alternate livelihood options for the local people of Nayachar, a need assessment was carried out for implementing the livelihood training programme for the women folk at Nayachar in future. The local women were made aware about the government schemes and agencies that are working on skill development for youth and women. The programme was attended by 38 participants; include 29 local people and 9 forest officials including Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), and 8 frontline staff. Resource persons from WII comprised of Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Mrs. Hemlata Khanduri, Dr. Deepika Dogra, Ms. Monika Mehralu, Ms. Michelle Irengbam and Ms. Suchismita Das.
CONSULTATION WORKSHOP FOR MEDIA PERSONNEL ON “ROLE OF MEDIA IN BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION OF THE GANGA RIVER” ON 28 TH JANUARY, 2019 AT NARORA, BULANDSHAHR, UP
The WII-NMCG project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” organized a “Consultative workshop for the Media personnel’s on “Role of media in biodiversity conservation of the Ganga River” on 28th January, 2019 at Uday Prabhat Guest House, Narora, Bulandshahr, UP. The objective of the workshop was to highlight the important role played by Media personnel in generating public awareness across the masses about biodiversity conservation and to educate and spread the activities carried out under the WII-NMCG project. A total of 14 media personnel, two professors and 3 Ganga Praharis attended the workshop. The WII team included Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Mrs. Hemlata Khanduri, Ms. Monika Mehralu, Ms. Mansi Bijalwan. Dr. Shailendra Kumar Singh, Professor of DPBS (PG) College, Anupshahr, Bulandshahr, UP, who had earlier been trained at the Wildlife Institute of India, under the WII-NMCG project also participated in the consultation workshop as a resource person.
SENSITIZATION WORKSHOP ON MNAGING AQUATIC FAUNA OF GANGA RIVER FOR FOREST DEPARTMENT, VARANASI (7TH AND 8TH DECEMBER 2018) CONDUCTED BY COMPONENT IV- RESCUE AND REHABILITATION OF THE WII-NMCG BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION AND GANGA REJUVENATION PROJECT
Freshwater species conservation has few amalgamated models to address and mitigate the situations of habitat alteration, habitat loss and illegal trade that are affecting the ecosystem today. Rescue and subsequent rehabilitation of aquatic fauna that become victim to the ever increasing pressures, is now an accepted conservation strategy. In a multi-stakeholder system, prioritization of the final objective is necessary and a perception change at the policy level to integrate scientific and socio-political decision-making is the need of the hour.
The workshop on “Managing Aquatic Fauna Along the Ganga River” on 7th and 8th December 2018 at Kachua Punarvas Kendra Sarnath, Varanasi was organised to augement capacities of forest staff at various levels in managing aquatic animals in distress. “Managing Aquatic Fauna along the Ganga River”. Workshops of this nature aim to provide a platform for developing local contexts to address new and emergent problems and seek professionally informed solutions for the scientific and ethical management of Aquatic Fauna needing rescue and rehabilitation. The workshop was attended by 63 forest department staff from Mughalsarai, Chahania, Naughad, Chandraprabha, Jaimohini, Mazgai, Chakia ranges and the Flying Sqaud.
3 DAYS TURTLE RELEASE PROGRAM AT VARANASI ON 28TH - 30TH NOVEMBER,2018
732 fresh water turtles of 3 species (Nilssonia gangetica, Lissemys sp and Batagur dhongoka) were identified for release post a health assessment. They had completed the requisite quarantine period and were being acclimated for release into their natural habitat. Furthermore, a visual reconnaissance survey of the release sites was done to re-affirm suitability pre-release. The release was planned and executed in a staggered manner spanning 3 days; 28th, 29th, and 30th November 2018.
PROGRAM FOR INDIA RIVER WEEK CONDUCTED BY COMPONENT IV- RESCUE AND REHABILITATION OF THE WII-NMCG BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION AND GANGA REJUVENATION PROJECT
India River Week 2018 has focus on a single river basin; the Ganga. The aquatic wildlife of the Ganga basin, including the main stem Ganga River, is now under threat due to diverse anthropogenic pressures. These activities further impact the quality and extent of habitat available to the diverse life forms that draw sustenance from the riverine system. Situations like entanglement in fishing nets, poaching, animals accidentally venturing into unsuitable areas, illicit trade now demand relevant attention.
The main objectives were:
SENSITIZATION WORKSHOP ON “INTEGRATING GANGA BIODIVERSITY WITH VEDIC PRACTICES” AT DEV SANSKRITI UNIVERSITY, HARIDWAR ON 25th NOVEMBER, 2018
A sensitization workshop was organized for students and teachers on 25th November, 2018 at the Dev Sanskriti University, Haridwar. The objective was to acquaint the participants about the biodiversity profile of the Ganga River and integrating the religious and vedic practices in conservation and rejuvenation of Ganga. A total of 35 participants (29 postgraduate students and 6 teachers) were present for the workshop. As part of the event, the participants were also apprised about the role of Ganga Praharis in biodiversity conservation. Saplings of religious plants were planted at the Herbal garden of the university campus.
NATIONAL TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY TEACHERS OF THE GANGA STATES ON “BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION AND GANGA REJUVENATION” ON 14th - 18th NOVEMBER, 2018
A five day National training workshop for College and University Teachers was organized under WII-NMCG project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” from 14th to 18th November, 2018 at the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. A total of 24 professors from 5 Ganga States, viz. Uttarakand (Devprayag, Haridwar, Rishikesh and Dehradun); Uttar Pradesh (Allahabad, Kanpur, Varanasi, Narora, Bulandshahr); Bihar (Bhagalpur); Jharkhand (Sahibganj and Dumka) and West Bengal (Serampore, Hoogly, Kolkatta) participated in this workshop.
The workshop was divided into 5 technical sessions on biodiversity monitoring and wetland conservation, participatory management, rescue and rehabilitation techniques, conservation education and field visits. Subject experts and WII-NMCG team provided inputs in the respective sessions.
S. No. Name and Designation
WII-NMCG team during the training programme
S. No. Name and Designation
Field and onsite visit during the training programme
Photographs of the training programme
ALL INDIA NCC UP GANGATREK (21ST OCT- 05TH NOVEMBER 2018) BIJNOR, UTTAR PRADESH
All India NCC UP Gangatrek was jointly organized by WII NMCG project team and Lieutenant Colonel Aanchal Kumar and team from 21st October to 05th November, 2018 at Kishan Inter College Rawali Village Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh. About 500 participants from different states (Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat) participated in the event. Among the participants four Junior Commission officers, NCC Directorate, Lucknow, eight NCC officers, four Associate NCC officers were actively involved and shared their experiences, issues and activities related to biodiversity conservation in their respective states. The workshop concluded with a Bird monitoring session from Kanha Aashram to Bijnor Barrage, Uttar Pradesh.
WILDLIFE WEEK CELEBRATION ACROSS THE GANGA STATES, 2ND TO 8TH OCTOBER 2018
The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) under the WII-NMCG “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” project celebrated the Wildlife week from 2nd to 8th October 2018. The celebration also observed the “Ganga River Dolphin Day” and World Habitat Day on 5th Oct. 2018. The celebrations were conducted throughout the week by the WII-NMCG team and Ganga Praharis in the Ganga river states.
The event started with the drawing competition that was conducted for students from class 4th to class 8th (n=200), while parallel screening of the two documentaries – Thumbelina and Ganga Praharis – took place for students of classes 8th and 12th. This was followed by the shortlisted candidates for the english poetry competition (n=200) on Ganga Aqualife competition, which was conducted for students from 9th to 12th, and the shortlisted candidates from 2 categories of juniors (class 3rd to 5th) and seniors (classes 6th and 7th) drawing on Ganga aqualife competition. This was followed by a prize distribution session, and brief discussion about the work being done in WII and its importance for executing the Ganga biodiversity restoration programme.
The Ganga Praharis celebrated Wildlife week on the 6th of October 2018 at the Government Primary School, Devprayag. A total of 46 students of the school, Headmaster and staff took part in the celebration. Students were told about the importance of celebrating the wildlife week. They were told about the biodiversity present in their surrounding and that of Ganga River in particular. The students were informed about the morphological feature of the birds, animals and their ecological importance to maintain the health of an ecosystem.
At Uttarkashi, Ganga Praharis organized sessions dedicated to the World wildlife week on the 6th and 7th of October 2018 in the Youth Parliament of Nehru Yuva Kendra (NYKS) volunteers. In these sessions the volunteers were sensitized on the importance of celebrating this special week. An interactive session was kept were the team and participants were divided into groups and discussions were held on the wild flora and fauna found in the pristine surrounding of Uttarkashi with special attention on Ganga’s biodiversity and the need and importance of conserving this as an inseparable part of the ecosystem.
At Varanasi, the wildlife week was celebrated on 2nd to 8th October with Ganga Praharis and local people at Domari village, Kashividhya Peeth block - Goshthi and Chandrawati village Cholapur block. The function was inaugurated by village Pradhan Mr. Udhishter Nishad on 2nd October, 2018. On 4th October essay writing competition on Ganga aqualife conservation was organized for school children at Purva Madhyamik Vidhyalaya, Rampur. As part of the celebration a cleanliness drive was carried out with 15 Ganga Prahris and 35 villagers at Domri Ghat and Goshthi on 6th October. On the last day, an awareness programme was also conducted at Primary School, Ramna village, subsequently a drawing competition was organized in Government Primary school Chandrawati Cholapur block. The team from WII includes Dr. Sandhya Joshi, Ms. Sunita Rawat, Mr. Nagendra and Mr. Rahul.
At Narora, the event was celebrated with 75 local people and 20 Ganga Praharis on 2nd October at Basi Ghat, Narora with the coordination of forest department. The participants were sensitized about the significance of conservation of wildlife.
In Farrukabad, Ganga Praharis at Bhaguanagla village in Farrukabad district held a sensitization meeting for villagers and awareness rally for school children on 3rd October, 2018. Villagers and school children were conveyed message on importance of celebrating the Wildlife week across the globe. During this program the Ganga Praharis highlighted the importance of cleanliness in Ganga River and it’s surroundings. Ganga Praharis explained the importance of Wild flora and fauna in maintain the ecological balance of the river and of the entire ecosystem. A cleanliness pledge was taken with a promise to keep Ganga and it’s surrounding clean so that a clean habitat is ensured for it’s aqualife.
The celebration was conducted at the Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park, Patna Zoo, Bihar, on the occasion of “National Ganga River Dolphin Day”. The NMCG-WII team, Ganga Praharis and students from Zoological survey of India with the cooperation of the Bihar Forest Department jointly celebrated the event. The event was made special with the release of publications by Honorable Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar Shri. Sushil Kumar Modi. A total of 13 Ganga Praharis took part in the celebration held at the Sanjay Gandhi Biological Garden (Patna Zoo), Patna.
b) Interactive session:
In the Bhagalpur district, Bihar, the Ganga Praharis were briefed on the importance of celebrating the Wildlife Week by the officials of Bihar Forest Department. The department facilitated the Ganga Praharis working actively towards biodiversity conservation in Ganga River and it’s surrounding. A sensitization program was organized on 4th October 2018 at Jagatpur village. A cleanliness drive was also organized by Ganga Praharis at the Ghats as a symbol of keeping the habitat of Ganga river clean for the wild flora and fauna of the river. In Kadua village, Navgachia (Bhaglapur) a session for members of local communities was also organized, during which they were taught on the first hand treatment of an injured bird due to electric wiring. The ecological importance of the bird species was highlighted for the villagers.
SENSITIZATION WORKSHOP FOR TEACHERS AND STUDENTS ON “TEACHER’S DAY”, 5TH SEPTEMBER, 2018, BHAGALPUR, BIHAR
As part of the Teacher’s Day celebration, a sensitisation workshop was organised for teachers, students and Ganga Praharis on 5th September, 2018 at the Ramdhari High School, Bhagalpur, Bihar. The purpose of this workshop was to sensitize the participants on the importance of indicator species in maintaining a healthy ecosystem and role of youth in restoration of Ganga river. The teachers and students were also introduced to the NMCG-WII project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation”. The workshop was attended by 165 students from classes 8th to 11th, 11 Ganga Praharis and 8 teachers.
CONSERVATION AWARENESS PROGRAMME FOR SCHOOL CHILDREN AT SAMASTIPUR, BIHAR ON 1ST SEPTEMBER 2018
Conservation awareness programme was organized on 1st September 2018 for the students of Rajkeeya Alpha Secondary School, Moiuddin Nagar, Samastipur, Bihar. The main objective was to introduce and acquaint the participants about the biodiversity profile of the Ganga River and conservation issues associated therein. The program was attended by over 200 students, 8 teachers, 1 Convener Namami Gange, 1 media personnel and one forest official. The workshop was concluded by the screening of the Namami Gange anthem. NMC-WII Project perosnnel Dr. Deepika Dogra, Mr. Vipul Maurya, Mr. Saurav Gawan and Ms. Monika Mehralu organized this programme
“WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY” CELEBRATION ACROSS THE GANGA RIVER STATES ON 5TH JUNE,2018
The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in collaboration with State Project Management Group (SPMG), Uttarakhand and Forest Departments of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand celebrated the “World Environment Day” on 5th June, 2018 across 11 locations in five Ganga River states under the project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation”. The theme of the event was “Beat the plastic pollution”.
In Uttarakhand, activities were organized at Dehradun, Chilla and Devprayag to celebrate the World Environment Day. During the programmes, the participants were informed about the plastic pollution and importance of plantation.
(i) The Ganga Aqualife Conservation Monitoring Centre organized a plastic free, open-air exhibition on the occasion of “World Enviornment Day” at the Wildlife Institute of India. Each exhibit had a unique message for saving the diversity and also showcased the diversity of the Ganga River. The exhibits attracted attention of each and every individual at the premises of the Institute and were widely appreciated.
(ii) At Chilla, the event was attended by 228 participants from various stakeholder groups viz., Forest department, Uttarakhand, GMVN staff and officials, Eco-development community members, Uttarakhand Jal Vidyut Nigam Limited officials, Rajaji National Park, Safari drivers, Tourist guides, Local shopkeepers, Farmers from nearby villages, School students, School teachers, Ganga Praharis and Media personnel. The event was conducted by Dr. Ruchi Badola, Dr. S.A. Hussain, Dr. Bivash Pandav, Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Mr. Charuhas Dali, Ms. Shatakshi Sharma, Mr. Vivek Ranjan and Ms.Pooja Dagar.
(iii) At Devprayag, the event was attended by 89 participants from various stakeholder groups viz., Forest department, Uttarakhand Jal Sansthan, River Front Development, local politicians, local shopkeepers, journalists, social activists, women from Godavari Silai Kendra, and students from Industrial Training Institute (ITI) and other educational institutions. Ms. Monika Sharma, Ms. Sayantika Banerjee, Ms. Monika Mehralu and Ms. Hemlata Khanduri from WII; Arvind Jiyal, Ganga Prahari from Uttarakhand; Shri Jaipal Pawar, Block Pramukh, Devprayag; Shri D.P. Balooni, Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF), Uttarakhand Forest Department and Dr. Prabhakar Joshi from Amar Ujaala Hindustan highlighted plastic products becoming an integral part of our daily lives; the huge amount of non-biodegradable sewage being thrown into the Ganga River and resulting in detrimental effects on environment and biodiversity.
In Uttar Pradesh, activities were organized at different sites viz. Varanasi, Farrukabad, Kannauj, Allahabad, Kanpur and Narora, Bulandshahr. During the programmes, the participants were informed about the plastic pollution and importance of plantation.
(i) At Anupshahr, Bulandshahr, a workshop was organized at Durga Prasad Baljeet Singh Post Graduate college. A total of 150 Post Graduate and under Graduate student were present during the event. The activities include presentations on the theme “Beat plastic pollution” and a plantation drive at the banks of the Ganga River. The celebration concluded with certificate distribution to the participants. During this event, Mrs. Shashi Joshi and Mr. Rahil Khan were present from WII.
(ii) At Allahabad, a sensitization programme was organized at Jal Nigam Training Centre, Sangam Ghat. Ganga Praharis, Water Wing in-charge of Rapid Action Force (RAF) Shri Ramakant, Chairman of Navik Sangh Shri Pappu Lal Nishad, members of Navik Sangh, officers of RAF, post-graduate students of Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences, local people from villages located on the banks of the Ganga River, religious leaders and frontline staff of Jal Nigam Uttar Pradesh and Dr. Pariva Dobriyal and Mr. Kumar Ankit from WII were present during the workshop.
(iii) In Farrukabad, awareness programme was organized at four different sites viz. Khanpur, Block Badhpur and Sringirampur, Block Kamalganj. Gram Pradhan, VDO, Soil and water village committee member and village pradhan participated in these programmes. At village Kamlaganj Farrukabad, a cleanliness and plantation drive was organized by the Ganga Praharis and Volunteers of Nehru Yuva Kendra at Block Campus. Total 52 participants attended the programme. In Kannauj, activities were organized at two different sites. At village Faraharan, Block Ghughrapur, 76 participants attended awareness programme. At village Mitrasenpur, Kannauj awareness programme was organized by village Pradhan Mr. Pushpendra Singh. Total 23 participants attended the programme. At Kanpur zoo, awareness programme and plantation drive was organized. A total of 106 participants including the Zoo Staff, teachers, Students & Visitors attended the workshop. Students of BND College performed street play on hazards of plastic wastes. During this event, Dr. Rajeev Chauhan and Mr. Sanjeev Chauhan were present.
(iv) At Varanasi, the World environment Day was celebrated near the bank of the Ganga River, in Dhanka, and a total of 143 participants participated in a cleanliness campaign followed by a pledge to replace single use plastic bags with reusable cloth bags stitched at home. The Campaign was successfully led by the Ganga Praharis. A training centre to provide alternative livelihood skills was also inaugurated in the village with Women Ganga Praharis as the first batch. The first batch would stitch reusable cloth bags and encourage their use in village. Plantation of different plant samplings in the presence of the Gram Pradhan, Shri Satyanarayan Nishad and the head priest within the premises of the village temple marked the end of the event. The women volunteers adopted these saplings.
(i) In Kahalgaon a cleanliness drive was organized by the Ganga Prahari at the Kahalgaon Ghat. An awareness rally was also organized by them to spread awareness regarding reducing use of plastic. At Bhagalpur, an awareness programme was organized. A total 55 saplings of different species were planted by Ganga Praharis. Dr. Sunil Aggarwal and Mr. Arvind Mishra member of Mandar Nature Club also attended the programme.
(i) At Sahibganj, an awareness programme was organized at Shakuntala Sahay Ghat and Sahibganj College. A total of 90 participants attended the workshop. During this event participants were given talks on how to reduce plastic pollution and use of plastic. A plantation drive was also conducted during the event.
(i) In West Bengal, the World Environment Day was celebrated in the Panuhat Rajmahishi Devi High School of Burdwan. A total of 61 students and 10 Ganga Praharis participated in this awareness program. The participants were informed about the impacts of plastic pollution in the rivers and threats to the wildlife and its habitat. During the programmes, a drawing competition was organised on the topic ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’ and ‘Biodiversity of Ganga’. The participants were taken near the bank of the Ganga River for tree plantation. After this session Mr. Ganesh Chowdhury shared his experience as Ganga Praharis to the participants and Ms. Shuchismita Das also inspired them to take initiatives for the protection of the Ganga River and its Biodiversity.
SENSITIZATION WORKSHOP ON MANAGING AQUATIC MACRO-FAUNA ALONG GANGA RIVER, DEHRADUN, 27th- 29th June, 2018.
Rescue and subsequent rehabilitation of impacted wild sentient has become a pertinent choice for on-ground species conservation initiatives owing to the sharp decline in their populations that essentially require support. Rescue and rehabilitation of Chelonians and Crocodilians to their natural habitat is an integral part of the larger ongoing WII-NMCG Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation Project given that, the aquatic wildlife of the Ganga basin, including the main stream of Ganga River, is under threat due to diverse anthropogenic pressures. Situations like entanglement in fishing nets, poaching, animals accidentally venturing into unsuitable areas, illicit trade in endangered species now demand relevant action. Moreover, it’s the social responsibility of every citizen to ensure that every individual is given a chance for survival and procreation.
Effective rescue and rehabilitation is dependent on knowledge of the species with good understanding of their biological and ecological attributes; proper planning and preparedness and availability of requisite infrastructure and a skilled professional team, thus making this a concerted team effort and an inclusive process. Capacity building of professionals who can contribute to this process of efficient rescue and rehabilitation, with enhanced skills and efficiency form an integral part of the work conceptualised under Component IV (Rescue and Rehabilitation) of the WII-NMCG Project.
In this regard, a 3 day Sensitization Workshop on “Managing Aquatic Macro-Fauna along Ganga River” for Field Veterinary Officers of Uttar Pradesh State was organized from 27th to 29th June 2018 at the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. The aim of the workshop was to sensitize field veterinary officers to the various facets of conservation and management of Aquatic Macro Fauna found along the Ganga River.
The workshop included inputs at Wildlife Institute of India with scientific sessions related to species biology and ecology, in-situ conservation and challenges, principles of rescue and rehabilitation, emergent zoonoses, ex-situ management and legal issues related to rescue and rehabilitation. Inputs were also provided on relevant field investigations and interventions required for managing the aquatic species. All the sessions were steered by external and host subject matter expert and included inputs by Dr. S.A. Hussain, Dr. Pradeeep K Malik, Dr. Ruchi Badola, Dr. Parag Nigam, Dr. Abhijit Das, Dr. Gowri Mallapur, Dr Anupam Srivastav, Dr. Animesh Talukdar, Mr Akshay Bajaj, Dr Himanshu Joshi and Dr. Sanath Muliya K.
An exposure field visit was organised to Dehradun Zoo to demonstrate techniques used in the ethical and humane handling of reptiles which included protocols for capture, handling and restraint of crocodiles, chelonians and snakes. This exercise was executed on 29th June 2018. In addition, the participants learnt species identification, sexing of chelonians, crocodilians and snakes as well as marking for individual identification. They had an opportunity to interact with Sh Prasana Patro, CF & Zoo Director to understand management challenges in maintaining the species in captivity.
A total of 30 field veterinary officers from 9 districts of Uttar Pradesh viz: Sambhal, Varanasi, Allahabad, Hardoi, Bareilly, Bijnor, Kanpur Nagar, Hapur and Lucknow attended the workshop. The workshop was coordinated by Dr. Parag Nigam (email@example.com) and supported by the WII- NMCG Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation project.
INTERNATIONAL MIGRATORY BIRD DAY CELEBRATION ACROSS THE GANGA STATES; DEVPRAYAG AND UTTARKASHI, (UTTARAKHAND); VARANASI AND NARORA, (UTTAR PRADESH); SAHIBGANJ, (JHARKHAND); SERAMPORE (WEST BENGAL) ON 12th MAY 2018.
The WII-NMCG project team celebrated the ‘International Migratory Birds Day’ on 12th, May 2018, by organizing various activities in different locations along the Ganga River States. The main objective was to sensitize the local community and youth about the different species of migratory birds, important characteristics of bird migration, threats to migratory birds, their ecological importance and the need for the conservation of these species and their habitat along the Ganga River and its floodplains.
In Uttarakhand, the activities were organized at Devprayag and Uttarkashi. At Omkarananda Public School, Tehri Garwal, Devprayag an awareness programme was organized for 18 students by three Ganga Praharis.
In Uttarkashi, a sensitization workshop for students of Class VI-XII was organized at Gosoami inter college, Uttarkashi. During the programme, a total of 35 students were sensitized on conservation significance of migratory birds and their habitat.
Narora, Uttar Pradesh
In Uttar Pradesh, conservation awareness workshops were organized at Narora and Sarnath. Around 150 Students of intermediate level and 6 teachers from Raghunath Inter College, Narora and 70 primary students and 3 teachers from Primary School, Rajghat, Narora participated at the event
Sarnath (Varanasi) Uttar Pradesh
At Sarnath, a total of 70 students from both Primary and Junior High School including 6 teachers and Principal participated in the event.
In Sahibganj, Jharkhand a sensitization programme on hands-on experience was organized at the bank of the Ganga, Sahibganj. A total of 51 Students (Class VIII to X) and 2 Teachers from Utkramit High School participated with great enthusiasm. The WII-NMCG project team explained the identification characters of the bird’s species, diversity and their habitat. Different bird species like Red Naped Ibis, Lesser Adjutant, Asian Open Bill Stork, Great Egret, Cormorant, and Pond Heron were observed during bird watching programme. The team also briefed and demonstrated two counting techniques viz. point count method and total count method with the help of onsite example. Other than birds the students were also informed about other species that are found in the Ganga River. Students actively interacted with the team and asked their doubts.
Serampore, West Bengal
The International Migratory Bird Day was celebrated in the Department of Zoology at Serampore College. 41 Postgraduate students and two Professors participated in this awareness program. Two lectures on “Bird Migration: A Natural Marvel” and “Knowing Migratory Birds of West Bengal” were delivered. Subsequently, in the interactive session, some common migratory bird species, their breeding ground and food habit were described to the participants.
TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR YOUTH AND NGOS ON “BIODIVERSITY MONITORING OF INDICATOR SPECIES OF RIVER GANGA AT SAHIBGANJ COLLEGE, SAHIBGANJ, JHARKHAND ON 28th – 30th April, 2018.
The Wildlife Institute of India under the project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” conducted three days training workshop for Youth and NGOs on “Biodiversity Monitoring of Indicator Species of River Ganga” at Sahibganj College, Sahibganj, Jharkhand on 28th – 30th April, 2018. A total of 120 participants from Sahibganj College, Badharwa College and representative members of NGO attended the workshop.
The main objective of the workshop was to develop the capacity of the Youth and local NGOs on the biodiversity of the Ganga River, importance of Aqualife conservation in the Ganga rejuvenation, different monitoring methods and techniques of rescue & rehabilitation. The workshop was inaugurated through lightening of lamp by the Chief Guest Dr. Manoranjan Prasad Sinha, Vice Chancellor, S.K.M. University, Dumka, Jharkhand. The inaugural session started with the welcome of Chief Guest by Dr. S.P Yadav, Principal- Sahibganj College and Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Scientist and Training Coordinator, Wildlife Institute of India. Later on Dr. Sangeeta Angom gave a brief introduction on “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” project and its objectives and work done so far. Then Dr. Sunil K. Choudhary gave a talked on Dolphin conservation and its issues in Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctaury. Mr. Manish Tiwari, DFO, Sahibganj, Jharkhand talked on the issues related to conservation in Sahibganj district and assured their full support in future activities of Biodiversity Conservation of Ganga river. Afterwards, Dr. Manoranjan Prasad Sinha gave the keynote address about the event. He informed that conservation of biodiversity is very important for the Ganga River and ensured full support for the project activities. He encouraged all the participants to get this opportunity of learning through this workshop. In the end of inaugural session, the participants were asked to fill pre- training assessment.
After the inaugural session, the first session started with a talk on “Monitoring of Gangetic River Dolphin” by Dr. Rashid Raza, Project Scientist, CAMPA Dolphin. He briefed about the habitat of the Gangetic River Dolphin, present status and trend of Gangetic river dolphin. He also highlighted the threats such as excessive fishing, fragmentation of river habitat, poaching for bait oil, pollution (bio-accumulation), loss of habitat availability faced by Dolphin. The methods best known for monitoring and counting techniques such as double observer technique for the Gangetic river dolphins were explained by Mr. Subhashis Dey.
The second session started with a lecture on “Monitoring of Fish Population” by Dr. Arvind Kumar Dwivedi. He briefed on the different species of fishes present in the Ganga River, that can also serve as the indicator species. He further talked on present status and trend of key fish species of the Ganga River and their threats. Later on Mr. Bitupan Boruah explained the interesting facts about Amphibian and Reptiles, identification of toads and frogs and classification of reptilian species. He emphasized on the importance of the amphibians as an indicator to pollution. He explained the methods to identify and differentiate between venomous and non-venomous snakes. The techniques and tools for snake handling were also highlighted during his presentation. Mr. Kritish De talked on the “Monitoring of Aquatic Invertebrates”. He first explained about the role of ants, termites, butterflies and dung beetles in a forest ecosystem.
The second day started with a field visit to Mukteshwar Dham Ghat where Dr. Arvind Dwivedi briefed on the monitoring of water quality and river variables by using various instruments such as PRO DSS and ECOSENSE. Mr. Bitupan Boruah explained about working and use of GPS, line transects method. Mr. Vivek Ranjan , Mr. Rajat Rastogi and Ms. Gargi explained about the migratory and resident birds of the Ganga River. They explained different methods used for monitoring of Birds. The threats such as destruction of habitat, poaching and other issues were also discussed during the visit. Dr. Rajiv Chauhan gave a brief talk on wetlands and importance of wetlands. Ms. Ekta interacted with the participants and briefed them on the importance of community participation in the Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation. The session concluded with a group discussion, where the students asked their doubts and shared their views.
The third day started with a lecture by Dr. Rajeev Chauhan on the topic “Techniques of Rescue and Rehabilitation of Aquatic Species with special focus on turtles and crocodilians”. Firstly, he informed about the different species of turtles and crocodiles found in the Ganga River. Then he talked about the handling techniques and preventive measures to be undertaken for safe rescue and rehabilitation of turtles and crocodiles. He also discussed about project progress and talked about the centres established by the Wildlife Institute of India at Narora and Sarnath.
After the lecture, for the team building activity the participants were divided into 5 groups to demonstrate the importance of participatory management, approaches and interventions required to mobilize community for the conservation activities. After the technical session, the certificate distribution was done by acting Principal Dr. B.D. Dwari, Head of Physics Department, Ms. Shashi Jaijodiya, President, Akhil Bhartiya Marwadi Mahila Sammelan and Dr. Rajiv Chauhan, Conservation Officer, Wildlife Institute of India.
STATE LEVEL TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR FRONTLINE FOREST STAFF, GANGA PRAHARIS AND MEDIA PERSONNEL AT SAHIBGANJ, JHARKHAND ON “BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION AND MONITORING TECHNIQUES OF AQUATIC SPECIES OF GANGA RIVER” AT DC OFFICE, CONFERENCE HALL, SAHIBGANJ, JHARKHAND ON 25th – 27th APRIL, 2018.
The Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun under the project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” conducted State level training workshop for frontline forest staff, Ganga Praharis and Media Personnel on “Biodiversity Conservation and monitoring techniques of aquatic species of Ganga River”. The training workshop was organized in collaboration with the trained spearhead team of forest officials of Jharkhand Forest Department, and was held from 25th to 27th, April, 2018 at Sahibganj, Jharkhand. The workshop was attended by 57 participants including Range Chief Conservator of forest (RCCF), Deputy District Collector (DDC), Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), 2 Range officers, Beat officer and 34 frontline forest staff from 3 Division (Sahibganj, Dumka and Godda) and 14 Ranges (Hizla West Range, Kathikund, Boarizor, Sundarpahari, Mandro, Taljhari, Badashara, Dumka East Range, Dumka Damin Range, Goddha, Raj Mahal Damin, Borio, Barharwa, Udhwa); 8 Ganga Praharis, 4 Media personnel (Hindustan, Dainik Jagran and Indian Punch), representative members of Ganga Seva Samiti, Professor of Sahibganj College and office staff of Forest Department, Sahibganj Jharkhand .
This training workshop aimed at developing the skills and capacity of the frontline staff and Ganga Praharis in assessing and monitoring the aquatic fauna of Ganga River. The purpose of this workshop was also to sensitize the Media Personnel about the biodiversity profile of Ganga River, significance of their conservation and issues associated therein. The workshop started with welcome of the participants and formal inauguration by Dr. Sangeeta Angom. The workshop was divided into four sessions: two technical sessions on monitoring biodiversity and participatory management respectively and a session comprising of the field visit to the Udhwa Bird Sanctuary, Udhwa, Jharkhand. Pre-training impact assessment forms were distributed amongst the participants before the start of the technical session.
The first day of the workshop started with felicitation of Mr. Satyajit Singh (RCCF), Mrs. Nancy Sahay (DDC) and Mr. Manish Tiwari (DFO) by WII team with Arjun and Teak saplings. Dr. Sangeeta Angom, gave a detailed overview of the NMCG-WII project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation”. She also talked about the work that has already started in the other Ganga river states and initiatives needed to be taken for the rejuvenation of the Ganga river, in the state of Jharkhand.
This was followed by a talk from Dr. Rashid Raza and Dr. Shubasis Dey on Ecology and Monitoring of Gangetic river dolphin. Subsequently a short discourse on the monitoring of crocodiles was given by Mr. Vivek Ranjan. The second part of the session consisted of a group activity and a talk on Community Participation in Conservation of Ganga River: Ganga Prahari initiatives by Dr. Deepika Dogra. Importance of community participation was demonstrated through a group activity and the outcome of the activity showed that there needs to be coordination between frontline forest staff, higher officials and the community for effective communication and participation with respect to any conservation initiative.
On the second day, the participants were taken for a field visit to Udhwa Bird Sanctuary, Udhwa, Jharkhand. Dr. Rashid Raza, Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Dr. Rajeev Chauhan and WII Team formally introduced the Wetland characteristics and the floral and faunal diversity of that area. After that participants were divided into 5 groups and trained on monitoring of river and wetland variables, identification and counting of waterbirds etc. This was followed by examination for the participants on the experiences of the field survey techniques they learned during the exercises.
On the third day Dr. Sangeeta Angom introduced biological sample collection and genetic monitoring techniques to the participants. She told about the preserving techniques using easily available chemicals and sending them to WII or any other forensic laboratory for further tests and analysis. Thereafter, Dr. Rajeev Chauhan highlighted the principles and techniques of rescue and rehabilitation of aquatic fauna, especially. crocodiles and turtles. This was followed by a session by Mr. Manish Tiwari (DFO, Sahibganj and Spearhead team leader), highlighting the issues affecting the biodiversity of the Ganga river with special reference to Jharkhand. He presented a detailed overview of the Biodiversity of the Ganga river in Jharkhand, problems and issues the river is facing and what measures are being taken for its rejuvenation process. Afterwards a valedictory function was organized, Mr. Sandeep Singh, District Collector, Sahibganj, was the chief guest and distributed the certificates to the participants. He stated that this was a very informative workshop for the frontline staff members and Ganga Praharis, since for rejuvenation of Ganga River a large number of human resources are required.
SENSITIZATION WORKSHOP ON ‘MANAGING AQUATIC FAUNA ALONG THE GANGA RIVER’ AT WILDLIFE INSTITUTE OF INDIA FROM 26TH TO 28TH APRIL 2018.
Under the aegis of the WII-NMCG Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation Project Component IV (Rescue and Rehabilitation) a three day sensitization workshop was held at the Wildlife Institute of India from 26th to 28th April 2018 for field Veterinary Officers of Uttarakhand State on “Managing Aquatic Fauna along the Ganga River”.
The workshop was attended by 34 field veterinary officers, including 14 lady officers from, Rudraprayag, Dhanaulti, Pauri Garhwal, Tehri Garhwal, Chamoli, Uttarkashi, Haridwar, Rishikesh, Almora, Bhimtal (Nainital), U.S. Nagar, Haldwani, Dehradun, Corbett Tiger Reserve and Rajaji Tiger Reserve.
The workshop was formally inaugurated by Dr. K.K. Joshi, Director, Animal Husbandry, Government of Uttarakhand on 26th April 2018 in the presence of Dr. V.B. Mathur, Director, WII, Dr. G.S. Rawat, Dean, FWS, Dr. S.S. Bist, Former Secretary, Uttarakhand Animal Welfare Board & Director, Animal Husbandry, besides senior serving officers from the Animal Husbandry Department including WII faculty.
The sensitisation workshop included both theoretical as well as field inputs covering various aspects of Aquatic Macro Fauna management. The theoretical session were conducted at Wildlife Institute of India and provided an overview of aquatic system and aquatic fauna; biological, behavioural and ecological attribute of select species; conflict identification mitigation for aquatic fauna; legalities and procedures in addressing rescue and rehabilitation besides identification and marking of animals. Sessions were conducted on capture and restraint; emerging diseases; insight into community participation and captive management (principles of treating aquatic herpetofauna, general field procedure and diagnostic aids). The hands-on exercise was conducted at Dehradun Zoo on 27th April 2018 to provide exposure on various aspects of physical capture, handling and restraint of crocodilians and chelonians.
The core faculty from the Wildlife Institute of India included;
Teaching inputs were also provided by Shri Samir Sinha, Addl. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Govt of Uttarakhand and Shri Prasana Patro, IFS, Director, Dehradun Zoo.
The workshop was instrumental in providing an insight into the ethical, scientific and professional management of aquatic fauna.
EARTH DAY CELEBRATION - SAHIBGANJ, JHARKHAND ON 22ND APRIL, 2018.
NMCG-WII team at Mukteshwar Ghat, Sahibganj (Jharkhand) celebrated Earth Day on 22nd April, 2018, with the assistance of State Forest Department, Jharkhand. Students from local schools (St. Xavier School, St. Joseph School, Providence School, Shibu Soren Jan Jatiya College, Sahibganj College) participated in a series of events organized on the occasion. The event also marked the participation of under privileged children from local community present at the Ghat. The theme of this event was ‘Plastic Consumption and Its Impact on Environment’ with special focus on fresh water river ecosystem. The event started with an interactive session with students, after which the NMCG-WII team introduced them to the project Biodiversity conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation. Highlighting the importance of the ‘Earth Day’ theme of this year’s celebration – End Plastic Pollution was introduced to the participant. Briefing the students on significance of the Aqualife of the Ganga River, the impact of plastic waste on riverine ecosystem was highlighted. After the lecture students put forth their perception on the said theme through a drawing competition, which was categorized into junior (Nursery to 6th) and senior (6th above) categories. Besides these, the unprivileged students on the Ghats also participated in the competition. The participants beautifully canvassed their thoughts and perception on threats of plastic waste on ecology and environment of fresh water ecosystem. The event concluded with prize distribution to the winners by Divisional Forest Officer Mr. Manish Tiwari IFS, Jharkhand.
UPDATE FROM FIELD – UTTARKASHI, UTTARAKHAND
A series of orientation meetings and workshops are being organized in Uttarkashi for the newly identified and recruited Ganga Praharis.
UPDATE FROM FIELD
Inspired and sensitized Ganga Praharis, are putting their efforts for cleaning of the Ganga River by innovative methods, which is visible in the field. These Ganga Praharis are inspiring their community members too by promoting and following good practices for waste disposal.
At Kahalgaon, the fishermen have done wall writing themselves, have installed dustbins and also innovated floating dustbins or waterbins. Waterbins are made of mosquito nets, which float on the water surface. These waterbins are meant for collecting the religious waste that otherwise keeps floating on the surface of the Ganga River.
VISIT OF DIRECTOR GENERAL, NATIONAL MISSION FOR CLEAN GANGA TO WII ON 18TH APRIL 2018.
Shri Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG); Shri Rozy Agarwal, Executive Director (Finance), NMCG; Shri Avinash D. Ghushe, OSD, Minister (MoWR, RD, GR); Shri Praveen Kumar, Director (Technical); Dr. Raghav Langar, Project Director, State Project Management Group, Uttarakhand and Dr. Sandeep Behera, Biodiversity Consultant, NMCG, visited Wildlife Institute of India, on 18th April 2018. Aim of the visit was to appraise the activities carried out under the “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” project. The project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” is an integral part NMCG’s vision for Ganga Rejuvenation by restoring Ganga’s ecological integrity.
NATIONAL LEVEL WORKSHOP FOR GANGA PRAHARIS OF FIVE GANGA RIVER STATE VENUE: PARMARTH NIKETAN ASHRAM, RISHIKESH (UTTARAKHAND).
As a part of the capacity building and stakeholder involvement initiative of the project, a three days National Level Workshop for Ganga Praharis of five Ganga River States was organized at Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh (Uttarakhand), from 11th- 13th March 2018. About 200 participants from five Ganga River States participated in this workshop. The inaugural function was graced by Shri. Madan Kaishik, Honourable Minister of Housing and Urban Development Authority, Government of Uttarakhand, H. H. Swami Chidananda Saraswati Ji, representatives from National Mission for Clean Ganga and various other Governmental and Non-Governmental organisations. This was the first interaction workshop for these volunteers. This workshop was a platform for orientation of Ganga Praharis towards the objectives and approach of the project and interaction with each other to understand the concerns of Ganga River conservation and initiatives undertaken in this respect.
The three days programme had both informative and participatory sessions. Dr. S.A. Hussain, Project Co-ordinator gave an overview of objectives and approach of the project, followed by a presentation by Dr. Ruchi Badola, Project Co-Coordinator, on the role and responsibilities of Ganga Praharis. Expressing her contentment over the presence of such a huge gathering Dr. Badola highlighted that Ganga Praharis will be role model for rest of the society. She informed that capacity building programmes specific to biodiversity conservation are planned in future for Ganga Praharis. During these capacity building programmes Ganga Prahari will be trained to assist the WII-NMCG team for microplanning, ecological surveys, cleanliness of Ganga, first hand reporting and handling of animal in distress, liaison with the state forest departments, community mobilization, establishing links between people and current schemes and livelihood related skill development. State-wise structure of Ganga Prahari team was also explained to the participants. As part of the structure, cluster leaders from each state have been identified, these cluster leaders will report about the onsite activities to the Community officers/research teams from WII. The overall activities of the five states will be coordinated by the Programme co-ordinator and the final reporting will be made to the Programme Advisors, Dr. Ruchi Badola and Dr. S.A. Hussain. The Ganga Praharis were briefed about the activities that they have to perform and were asked to conduct any of the two activities per village per month. Highlighting the benefits Dr. Badola assured that the Ganga Praharis would be linked to various research and social institutes for acquiring training in the field of their interest. WII-NMCG team will impart them training in biodiversity monitoring, handling of animal in distress and spreading awareness on conservation of biodiversity of the Ganga River.
A success story on Solid Waste Management was shared by Mr. Mayank Pandey from Muskan Jyoti, an NGO based in Sharanpur. Mr. Arvind Mishra, State Consultant Indian Bird Conservation Network (IBCN), Bihar spoke on the issues of local fishermen and also presented a model of species restoration for Greater Adjutant in the Ganga and Kosi flood plains, of Bhagalpur district, Bihar. Dr. Ravindra Bohra, National Wash Coordinator, Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (Parmarth Niketan) gave an insight on cleanliness through his lecture on 'Cleanliness Basic Need of Today : Ab Nahi To Kab'. WII-NMCG team members presented the activities done under the project in the five Ganga River States. On the second day of the workshop, the Ganga Parharis actively participated in cleanliness drive through Shramdaan at the ashram and Ghats along the Ganga River at Rishikesh. Ganga Parharis shared their experiences, issues and activities related to biodiversity conservation in their respective states during the group discussion. Participants expressed great pleasure on meeting Ganga Praharis from other states and were determined to join hands with the WII-NMCG team towards biodiversity conservation and Ganga rejuvenation. The workshop concluded with a field visit to Devprayag on 13th March 2018. At Devprayag, the Ganga Praharis took part in a plantation drive at Omkaranand Degree College. They also planted saplings of indigenous tree species having medicinal and economic value. This was followed by a visit to Sangam Ghat (confluence to Alaknanda and Bhagirathi), Devprayag, where the participants had firsthand experience of ecological and cultural significance of the Ganga River.
Take away message of this workshop was that each and every Ganga Prahari is the leader of masses and will ensure conservation of Ganga River’s biodiversity.
4-DAYS TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR YOUTH OF WEST BENGAL ON “BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION AND METHODOLOGY OF BASELINE SURVEY OF INDICATOR SPECIES OF GANGA RIVER” ON 12TH-15TH FEBRUARY 2018.
The Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun under the project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” conducted four days training workshop for postgraduates on “Biodiversity Conservation and methodology of baseline survey of indicator species of Ganga River”. A total of 20 participants from Serampore College, Hooghly, West Bengal attended the training workshop.
On the second day of the workshop, the participants were taken on field visit to Asan Conservation Reserve situated at the confluence of Yamuna and Asan River, Uttarakhand. The wetland comprises of an area of 4.44 sq.km and is known for its resident and migratory avifauna. The students observed and counted migratory birds like Shelduck, Bar headed Goose, Common Pochard, Red Crested Pochard, Palla’s Gull, Tufted Duck and Egrets, Cormorants, Water Redstarts, Swallows. The particpants were also given a brief idea on the use of GPS and the methods of line transect and point count. The session concluded with a visit to Vigyan Dham, Uttarakhand State Council for Science & Technology (UCOST).
On third day the participants visited the Nature trail at WII campus, where they were enlightened about the flora and fauna of the campus. This was followed by a small visit to the Forensic and GIS laboratories. In the afternoon the participants were taken to HESCO, where Padma Shri Dr. Anil Prakash Joshi emphasized the importance of community participation for Biodiversity Conservation.
The technical session for the fourth day consisted of a group activity followed by a talk of Dr. Pariva Dobriyal, (Project Scientist) on community participation in river conservation, through a series of activities. These activities emphasized the importance of participatory management and approaches and interventions required to mobilize community for the conservation activities. After the technical session the students were taken to Forest Research Institute, Dehradun for a field visit. The workshop concluded with certificate distribution to the participants.
TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR OFFICIALS OF NARORA ATOMIC POWER STATION (NAPS) AND FRONTLINE STAFF OF FOREST DEPARTMENT ON “AQUATIC SPECIES CONSERVATION AND GANGA REJUVENATION” ON 1ST AND 2ND FEBRUARY, 2018
The Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun under the project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” conducted two days training workshop for officials of the Narora Atomic Power Station, under its Environmental Stewardship Program (NAPS-ESP) and frontline forest staffs of Uttar Pradesh forest department (UPFD), Bulandshahar Division on “Aquatic Species Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” emphasizing the role of rescue and rehabilitation of species of conservation significance, in the biodiversity conservation of Ganga River.
On the occasion of World Wetlands Day, 2nd February, 2018 a field training was conducted at Narwar Ghat from 8:30 am till 12:30 pm with 26 participants, with 30 students from Rajghat Inter-college and 7 Ganga Prahri.
CONSULTATIVE WORKSHOP WITH STATE PROGRAM MANAGEMENT GROUP (SPMG), UTTARAKHAND AND GANGA VICHAR MANCH AT WILDLIFE INSTITUTE OF INDIA, DEHRADUN ON 29th JANUARY, 2018
The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) organized a one day Consultative workshop for the Uttarakhand State Programme Management Group (SPMG) and volunteers of Ganga Vichar Manch, Uttarakhand on “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” at Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun on 29th January, 2018. Apart from Senior Scientist and WII-NMCG Project team, about 30 participants representing various state departments working in collaboration with SPMG, Uttarakhand participated in the workshop. The programme commenced with a small tour to the Wild Trail at WII campus. Dr. B.S. Adhikari, Scientist-F, Wildlife Institute of India and Dr. Niladri Dasgupta (Project Scientist), enlightened the participants about flora and fauna of the campus. After which, Dr. Ruchi Badola, Scientist-G and senior professor welcomed the participants of the workshop. This was followed by a presentation by Dr. S.A. Hussain, Scientist- G and coordinator of the Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation project. Dr. Hussain gave an overview of the project objectives, its six components andthe progress made so far. He also talked about the biodiversity profile of the Ganga river, status of the major species found in it and the principles of restoration that needs to be adapted for Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation.
Thereafter the six components of the project were explained individually by WII team members. Dr. Niladri Dasgupta (Project Scientist) outlined the objectives and outputs of the first component i.e. Establishment of Ganga Aqualife Conservation Monitoring Centre. The second component, Planning Aquatic Species Restoration for Ganga River was explained by Dr. Arvind Dwivedi (Project Associate). Dr. Dwivedi explained the methodology adopted for the biodiversity survey along the Ganga river and results obtained. He also explained about GIS mapping to study the distribution and abundance of various species along the stretch of the Ganga river. Afterward Dr. Sangeeta Angom (Training Coordinator) gave a brief summary of the third component, Capacity Development of Forest Department and other Stakeholders. She emphasized on the importance of why capacity development of Forest department and other stakeholders such as youth, religious group, local communities, industries is necessary for Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation. Dr. Animesh Talukdar (Project Associate) talked about the fourth component Establishment of Rescue and Rehabilitation centres. He gave a brief summary of the activities that is being carried out at the two rescue and rehabilitation centres that have already been established at Narora and Sarnath. Subsequently Dr. Ruchi Badola (Scientis-G) explained the fifth component i.e. Community based Conservation programmes for species restoration. Dr. Badola emphasized on the convergence of various organizations and institutes towards the conservation and rejuvenation of Ganga River, highlighting the role of local communities in the success of these efforts. She talked about a cadre of volunteers from the five Ganga states. These young volunteers have been named as Ganga Praharis. Through this forum she appealed to the organizations to involve these foot soldiers in various activities related to the clean Ganga mission. Ms. Dimpi Patel (Project Fellow) outlined the objectives, activities and progress of the sixth component, Nature Interpretation and Education for Biodiversity conservation. She spoke about the importance of conservation education amongst the local people and different methods like organizing Exhibitions and Puppet shows, distribution of posters, leaflets and fact sheets being done to achieve this. A visit to the Forensic, GIS and Ecotoxicology laboratories was also arranged. This was followed by a group discussion with the participants wherein they agreed to take up one stretch of Ganga and create it into a model stretch through the convergence of various departments and agencies working there. The workshop concluded with certificate distribution to the participants.
ONE DAY RELIGIOUS AND CULTURAL GROUP WORKSHOP ON 24th DECEMBER 2017.
A one day sensitization workshop was organized for vaishnav community of Rajbari residing at Sri Sri Anumahaprabhu Mandir, Rajbari, Manipuri Old Palace, Nabadwip, West Bengal. The workshop was a part of the capacity building and stakeholder involvement initiative in order to acquaint the religious group with the aims and objectives of the ‘Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation’ project of Namami Gange programme under the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and their significant role in implementing the project. A total of 40 representatives of the vaishnav community, including the 9 members from the organizing committee of Sri Sri Anumahaprabhu Mandir, were present in the workshop.
The workshop provided a platform to discuss about the issues pertaining to the Ganga River and the direct and indirect impacts of religious activities on the River. Performing rituals and immersion of ashes in the Ganga River are the main activities associated with the Ganga River. Off all the ghats in Nabadwip, Manipur ghat is the main ghat in which maximum tourist footfall is observed. Some of the concerns elucidated during the workshop, by Shri Ranjit Singh, Chairman, Oganizing Committee, Sri Sri Anumahaprabhu Mandir, were: reduced water flow, island formation due to siltation, bank erosion, destructive fishing, reduced sighting of fishes and Gangetic river dolphin in the Ganga River. Major threat to the Ganga River described by Shri Rajkumar Tikendrajit Singh, Secretary was industrial and domestic pollution that was affecting the quality of the water thereby affecting the aqualife of the River. The major source of the industrial pollution was the sugar mills situated along the banks of the Ganga River wherein the waste from these mills is drained directly into the River. Heavy organic load due to open defecation in the villages situated near the banks of the river and sewage pollution from the open drains has deteriorated the water quality of the river. The main reason as told by the participants was no maintenance of the public toilets and facilities by the municipality which has increased the pollution load.
ONE DAY SENSITIZATION-CUM-LIVELIHOOD ASSESSMENT WORKSHOP FOR LOCAL COMMUNITIES AT NABADWIP, NADIA, WEST BENGAL ON 23rd DECEMBER, 2017.
A one day sensitization-cum-livelihood assessment workshop was organized at Village Nayachur, Nabadwip, Nadia, West Bengal on 23rd December, 2017. The objective of the workshop was to sensitize the local people towards biodiveristy of the Ganga River and to assess the possible livelihood interventions for the villagers. A total of 46 local people participated in the workshop. The workshop was organized by WII-NMCG team comprising of Dr. Pariva Dobriyal, Dr. Niladri Dasgupta, Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Ms. Monika Sharma, Ms. Aditi Dev, and Ms. Shyantika Banerjee. Dr. Niladri Dasgupta, provided an overview on the Wildlife Insitute of India and the NMCG-WII project, in Bangla language. Dr. Pariva Dobriyal, talked about the role of local communities in achieving the goals of Ganga rejuvenation and conservation of its biodiversity. She also presented about the linkages between local livelihood and conservation practices, and how the project team will be working in the village through Panchayat Raj Insititutions. Discussions with the participants revealed that there were no Self help groups (SHGs) in the villages and hence SHGs will be formed for women and youth. Availability of the resources and market was also discussed to develop the village specific livelihood activities. Members of Panchayats agreed to support the project activities and were eager to hold next meeting.
TWO DAYS TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR WEST BENGAL FOREST OFFICIALS ON “BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION AND MONITORING TECHNIQUES OF AQUATIC SPECIES OF GANGA RIVER” (21st AND 22nd, DECEMBER 2017).
The Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun under the project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” conducted two days training workshop for frontline forest officials of West Bengal Forest Department on “Biodiversity Conservation and monitoring techniques of aquatic species of Ganga River”. The training workshop was organized in collaboration with the trained spearhead team of forest officials, and was held on 21st and 22nd December, 2017 at Van Bhawan, Kolkata, West Bengal. It was attended by 39 frontline forest staff. The memebers of the Spearhead Team had already been trained at the Wildlife Institute of India, during the National training workshop for spearhead teams of the Ganga river states, from 6th to 12th November, 2017.
ONE DAY SENSITIZATION WORKSHOP FOR THE STUDENTS AT RAJGHAT INTER-COLLEGE, NARORA, BULANDSHAHR ON 20th December, 2017
A one day sensitization workshop was conducted on 20th December at Rajghat inter-college for the students of 11th and 12th Science stream. The workshop aimed at introducing monitoring techniques for the riverine vegetation to the students. A total 29 students and 1 teacher participated in the workshop. Ms. Shashi Joshi started the workshop by giving a brief explanation about the WII-NMCG “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” project and its objectives, different aquatic species found in the Ganga river and importance of the aqualife and issues in their conservation. After this, the students were asked to fill the pre-training questionnaire.
TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR POSTGRADUATES STUDENTS ON “ECOLOGICAL MONITORING TECHNIQUES OF AQUATIC SPECIES OF GANGA RIVER” ON 19th, DECEMBER, 2017
One day training workshop for Postgraduates students on “Ecological monitoring techniques of aquatic species of Ganga River” was organized on 19th, December, 2017, at Alipore Zoo, West Bengal. Students from different colleges viz. Vidyasagar College, Kolkata (Salt Lake Campus); Ballygunge Science College, University of Kolkata; Serampore College Serampore Hooghly; Department of Zoology, University of Kolkata; Diamond Harbour Woman’s University; Shibpur Dinobundhoo Institution (College) Shibpur, Howrah attended the workshop. Off 25 participants, 17 were Postgraduate’s students, 4 were the officials of the Zoo Authority and 4 were university teachers. The main objective of this workshop was to sensitize the students on the status of faunal diversity and enhance their capacity on the monitoring techniques of indicator species of Ganga River. The workshop was inaugurated with welcome address by Dr. Sangeeta Angom, training coordinator. After that, the WII-NMCG Project objectives and goals were briefed by Dr. Pariva Dobriyal. Subsequently, Dr. Dobriyal also presented on importance of community participation and challenges in restoration of aqualife of Ganga River. After this, the participants were taken to Zoo enclosures to introduce them to the indicator species of Ganga River viz. freshwater turtles, crocodiles, Birds. The participants were introduced about the ecological monitoring techniques and genetic sample collection for different endangered species present in Ganga River. At the end, an open discussion session was organized where all participants discussed about their doubts and about the NMCG project. Following discussion each participants were given training impact assessment form to know about the impact of training given to them.
FIRST NATIONAL TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR SPEARHEAD TEAMS OF THE GANGA RIVER STATES ON “BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION AND MONITORING OF AQUATIC SPECIES OF GANGA RIVER” FROM 6TH TO 12TH NOVEMBER, 2017.
The Wildlife Institute of India (WII), DehraDun under the project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” conducted its first National Training workshop for spearhead teams for forest department of the Ganga River states on “Biodiversity Conservation and monitoring of aquatic species of Ganga River”, from 6th to 12th November 2017. The workshop was attended by 36 forest officials from Chief Conservator of Forests to forest guards, of the four Ganga River states, namely Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. The training workshop was attended by 6 officials from Uttar Pradesh; 13 officials from Bihar; 7 officials from Jharkhand and 10 officials from West Bengal Forest Department. The main focus of this workshop was to train the officers and frontline staff with the skills and capacities required for the biodiversity monitoring, conservation and management of the riverine species along the Ganga River. The objective of the workshop was to form spearhead teams for each of the Ganga River state and train them in the areas of aquatic biodiversity monitoring for practical and action-oriented implementation of science-based research carried out by the WII. These trained spearhead teams will train other frontline staff for successful biodiversity monitoring and restoration of the Ganga River. The training workshop was held from 6th to 9th November, 2017 at Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, Uttarakhand. Subsequently, a field visit was organized from 10th to 12th November, 2017 at the National Chambal Sanctuary, Morena (MP). The workshop was divided into five sessions, viz. Two technical sessions on monitoring biodiversity, one session each on participatory management, conservation education and a session of field exposure to National Chambal Sanctuary.
On the 2nd day, the session started with walk on the Nature trail of Wildlife Institute of India campus, which was led by Drs. B.S. Adhikari, Scientist F, and Amit Kumar. During the visit, the participants were explained about the major tree species of the nature trail and their ecological importance. After the trail, the second technical session started with a talk on “Monitoring of Herpetofauna” by Dr. Abhijit Das. After this, Dr. J.A. Johnson, spoke on the “Monitoring River Ecosystem using Fish community”. Dr. V.P. Uniyal, explained about the monitoring techniques of aquatic invertebrate and their importance. Dr. Anju Baroth, Scientist C, talked about the water quality monitoring and eco-toxicology. After the technical session the Spearhead Teams along with WII Project personnel visited Forest Research Institute (FRI). Dr. Ombir Singh, Scientist ‘E’, briefed about the functions of FRI and talked about the DPR that has been prepared by FRI as Forestry Intervention for rejuvenation of Ganga River. The Spearhead teams visited the Silviculture Museum and took a tour of the FRI campus.
The technical session of the day 4 was on “Conservation education”, and was conducted by Dr. Bitapi Sinha. During the session, she talked about the role of interpretation in raising the awareness amongst the people, she also informed that during the historical time in India people used different forms of interpretation like Katha, Nukkad Natak. Dr. Sinha, spoke on the tangible, intangible resources and universal concepts of interpretation. She highlighted that the efficiency of interpretation with the help of emotions and accurate information makes a campaign successful.
On the 5th day, the Spearhead Teams along with Training team of WII-NMCG left WII campus, Dehra Dun for field exposure to National Chambal Sanctuary, Madhya Pradesh. The 6th day started with field training with a trip to Eco-centre, Morena, a Gharial and turtle rearing centre of Madhya Pradesh Forest Department (MPFD), at National Chambal Sanctuary. Dr. S.A. Hussain gave a brief description of the Chambal River and the National Chambal Sanctuary. Emphasising the significance and importance of the Sanctuary along with its biological diversity, he pointed the threats and management issues of the Sanctuary. After de-briefing, the participants visited the Museum inside the Eco-centre where participants were taught about the identifying characteristics of different aquatic fauna of the River, especially gharial, mugger and freshwater turtles. Afterwards the participants visited the gharial and turtle rearing ponds where ex-situ conservation of endangered turtles like Red-crowned roofed turtle (Batagur kachuga), Three-striped roofed turtle (Batagur dhongoka), Indian Narrow-headed soft shell turtle (Chitra indica) and gharial were being carried out. Dr. Hussain and Dr. Gopi G.V. explained the ex-situ rearing techniques and importance of such centres in conservation of endangered species.
On the 7th day, the Team gathered at Eco-centre at 10 am. Dr. A.A. Ansari, DFO, Morena, welcomed the Team at the conference hall of the Centre. After a brief account about the National Chambal Sanctuary, a documentary was shown to the participants about the biodiversity of the Chambal River. He interacted with the participants and shared his experience in conservation issues and challenges faced by forest department. Dr. Hussain talked about environmental flows (e-flows) and explained how e-flows are necessary to manage river ecosystems and conserve ecosystem service values citing an example from Chambal River.
LAUNCH CUM SENSITIZATION WORKSHOP ON “BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION AND GANGA REJUVENATION” AND “DEVELOPMENT OF CONSERVATION ACTION PLAN FOR RIVER DOLPHINS” FOR THE OFFICIALS OF THE BIHAR FOREST DEPARTMENT.
The one day ‘Launch cum Sensitization Workshop’ was organized as a part of the capacity building and stakeholder involvement initiative in order to apprise the Bihar Forest Department personnel about the aims, objectives and importance of the Wildlife Institute of India’s projects titled “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” and “Development of Conservation Action Plan for River Dolphins” to develop a partnership with the Bihar Forest Department.
TRAINING WORKSHOP FOR THE STUDENTS OF RAMJAS COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF DELHI WILDLIFE INSTITUTE OF INDIA, DEHRADUN ON 26TH OCTOBER, 2017
A one-day training workshop for the students of Ramjas College, University of Delhi, was conducted at WII, Dehra Dun. A total of 44 B.Sc. (Hons.) Zoology, II and III year, students chaperoned by three Assistant Professors, Dr. Mayanglambam Ojit Kumar Singh, Dr. Ng. Sarat and Dr. Samar Pal Singh participated in the workshop. The attendees were formally welcomed by Dr. Gautam Talukdar, followed by a brief introduction about WII and its mandate given by Dr. Sangeeta Angom. Dr. Shivani Barthwal gave a talk on the Biodiversity of Ganga River and provided a brief introduction to the NMCG-WII project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” via a PowerPoint presentation. The students were escorted to the Genetics Lab, where Dr. Sandeep K. Gupta educated them about the relevance of genetics in the field of biodiversity conservation with particular emphasis on Ganga’s biodiversity. He also gave a talk on the illegal trade in wildlife products and the Wildlife (protection) Act, 1972. Led by Dr. Gautam Talukdar and Mr. Charuhas Dali, the attendees were divided into two groups and taken around the ‘Nature trail’, where they were informed about the campus biodiversity — floral and faunal composition, vegetation sampling methods and bird identification and census techniques. The objective of the workshop was to give the participants a basic understanding about the biodiversity of Ganga River and the challenges in conservation. The workshop also aimed to develop the skills of the students in assessing and monitoring the biodiversity of Ganga and identification of illegal wildlife trade articles.
The team from WII comprised of two faculty members (Dr. Gautam Talukdar, Scientist – E, Dr. Sandeep K. Gupta, Scientist – E) and 15 researchers (Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Dr. Shivani Barthwal, Dr. Pariva Dobriyal, Dr. Deepika Dogra, Dr. Ajit Kumar Awasthi, Ms. Monika Sharma, Ms. Ekta Sharma, Mr. Ravindra Tripathi, Ms. Anita Devi, Ms. Aditi Dev, Ms. Amanat Kaur Gill, Ms. Michelle Irengbam, Ms. Shatakshi Sharma, Mr. Ajay Rawat, Mr. Mirza, Mr. Sartaj, Mr. Charuhas Dali).
CONSERVATION AWARENESS WORKSHOP FOR SCHOOL CHILDREN AT WILDLIFE INSTITUTE OF INDIA, DEHRADUN ON 12TH OCTOBER 2017
A ‘Conservation awareness workshop’ was organized on 12TH October 2017 at WII for the students of St. Patrick’s Academy, Dehradun and Rabea Girls Public School, Delhi. The main objective of the workshop was to introduce and acquaint the participants about the existence and importance of faunal diversity of India, NMCG-WII Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation project.
SENSITIZATION WORKSHOP FOR THE STUDENTS OF NALANDA UNIVERSITY, BIHAR ON 5TH OCTOBER 2017
On the occasion of “Ganga River Dolphin Day” and “Wildlife Week”, the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun conducted a sensitization workshop for the students of Nalanda University, Rajgir, Bihar at Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park, Patna, Bihar. Dr. Gopi GV, Scientist – E; Dr. Gautam Talukdar, Scientist – E, Goura Chandra Das, Research Associate, Amanat Kaur Gill, Project Fellow from WII conducted this workshop. The workshop was attended by 31 students from the ‘School of Ecology and Environment’, Nalanda University, chaperoned by Assistant Professor, Mr. Bharath Sundaram, and two Foresters of Bihar Forest Department. The attendees were formally welcomed by Mr. Kamaljeet Singh, Director, Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park, followed by a brief introduction to WII by Dr. Gautam Talukdar. A presentation was given by Mr. Goura Chandra Das on the NMCG-WII project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation”. He also sensitized the students about the Ganga River and its biodiversity and informed them about the relevance, scope, objective and activities undertaken in the aforementioned project. The salient features of the project were explained in detail by Dr. Gopi. G.V., with emphasis on the ecological and conservation significance of Ganga River. This was followed by an interactive question and answer session with the students wherein the students were encouraged to ask questions pertaining to the conservation of Ganga’s biodiversity, issues and potential solutions. Questions were raised about the role of different stakeholders, tackling heavy metal pollution, developmental and anthropogenic concerns, and methodology for monitoring the species of concern. Lack of awareness among the people working for the conservation of the Ganga River, such as religious leaders, was an interesting avenue of discussion that came up during the workshop.
WILDLIFE WEEK CELEBRATION DEHRADUN, UTTARAKHAND (2nd – 8th OCTOBER 2017)
The NMCG-WII project team celebrated the Wildlife week during 2nd to 8th October, 2017, by organizing various activities. The celebration conducted throughout the week also observed the “Ganga River Dolphin Day” on the 5th of October, 2017. In Uttarakhand, the activites were organised on 5th and 6th of October, 2017 at Janki Children Academy, Banjarawala, Dehradun. The activites were organised for 1500 students during 5th to 6th October 2017. On 5th October 2017, students of classes 4th to 12th participated in poster making, hand painting, face painting, slogan writing and drawing competition, on the theme “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation”. All the students took part with great enthusiasm and penned down their thoughts in these events. Consecutively on 6th October 2017, sensitisation workshop for 100 students of 11th and 12th classes was organised. During the workshop, the WII-NMCG Project objectives and goals were briefed. The NMCG-WII team, highlighted the importance of the Ganga River basin and sensitised the students on direct and indirect benefits derived from the Ganga River. They also emphasized the role of young generation in the conservation of the biodiversity by contributing at an individual level. The workshop concluded with feedback by the students and teachers followed by prize distribution to the winners of various events. The team of WII-NMCG project included Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Dr. Deepika Dogra, Ms. Monika Sharma, Ms. Anita Devi, Ms. Monika Mehralu and Ms. Shatakshi Sharma.
A. Various competitions (Classes: 4th to 12th)
• Drawing competition (Classes: 4th to 6th )
• Poster Making (Classes: 7th to 8th )
• Hand Painting (Classes: 8th to 12th )
• Face Painting (Classes: 8th to 12th )
• Slogan Writing Competition (Classes: 9th to 12th )
B. One day sensitisation workshop (Classes: 11th & 12th )
WILDLIFE WEEK CELEBRATION NARORA, UTTAR PRADESH (2nd – 8th OCTOBER 2017)
On 3rd October 2017, during the Wildlife Week the NMCG-WII team organized drawing and quiz competition for students from class 6th-9th and 10th- 12th at Irrigation Inter-College, Narora, Bulandshahar, Uttar Pradesh. About 40 students and 6 teachers participated in the events. The school students were briefed about the significance of celebrating Wildlife Week, importance of wildlife in maintaining the ecological balance. The students were also introduced to the NMCG-WII project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation”. A presentation was delivered on the importance of the Ganga River, its course, role of aqualife in maintaining a healthy ecosystem, threats to the Ganga River and role of youth in conserving the River. After the presentation, drawing and quiz competitions were conducted for the participants. The topic for drawing competition was ‘Ganga Aqualife and Conservation Issues’. Quiz competition consisted of general questions on environment and wildlife, origin of Ganga River, its course and aqualife. Students actively participated, interacted with the team and came up with questions and innovative ideas to conserve the Ganga River. The competitions were concluded with prize distribution ceremony, vote of thanks to teachers and students and refreshments. The WII-NMCG team members consisted of Dr. Deepika Dogra, Ms. Aditi Dev, Ms. Ekta Sharma, Ms. Monika Mehralu, Ms. Sunita Rawat and Mrs. Shashi Joshi.
CULTURAL EVENT HELD ON THE OCCASION OF “SWACHHTA HI SEWA” PAKHWARA AT WILDLIFE INSTITUTE OF INDIA, DEHRADUN ON 2nd OCTOBER 2017.
The WII-NMCG team organized a cultural event on the theme Swacchta hi Seva with special reference to Ganga River on 2nd October 2017, at the auditorium of the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. Dr. G.S. Rawat, Dean, Wildlife Institute of India inaugurated the event with an opening remark on the importance of maintaining cleanliness (swacchta). A group song by the WII faculties’ children followed it. Students from the Mass Communication Department of the Sai Group of Institutions, Dehradun performed a skit on the theme “Swachh Ganga Abhiyan” highlighting how Ganga River is getting polluted due to ignorance and indifference of the people. The event proceeded with a dance performance by students of the Janki Children Academy, Banjarawala through which they appealed to keep the Ganga River clean. Dehradun based Sambhav theatre group performed a riveting Nukkad Natak (street play), which was a satirical take on the deplorable condition of the Ganga River due to pollution and why it persists. The team of the Nukkad Natak, made the audience pledge to maintain the Ganga River’s purity and integrity, by keeping it clean. After the performance by the Sambhav theatre group, the NMCG-WII project team and faculty wives sang the Namami Gange biodiversity geet. The event ended with a vote of thanks by Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Project Associate and training coordinator of the WII - NMCG team.
ACTIVITIES ORGANIZED TO CELEBRATE ‘SWACHHTA HI SEWA’ PAKHWADA AT HARIDWAR ON 29th SEPTEMBER 2017.
The WII-NMCG project team celebrated the ‘Swachhta hi Sewa’ pakhwada during 17th September to 2nd October, 2017, by organizing various activities on 29th September, 2017. An awareness rally, cleanliness drive, plantation drive and Swachhta Pledge were organized. These activities were organized in association with Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya, Haridwar, Uttarakhand Science Education & Research Center, Dehradun, NGO - Society of Environmental Education and Mass Awareness (SEEMA) and National Service Scheme (NSS) under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, GOI. The main purpose of these activities was to spread awareness and build the capacity of the participants on the significance of biodiversity conservation of Ganga River and importance of cleanliness along the banks of the River. The team from WII consisted of Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Ms. Monika Sharma, Ms. Anita Devi, Ms. Shatakshi Sharma, Mr. Ravindra Nath Tripathi and Mr. Sartaj.
1. Swachhta Awareness Rally
The awareness rally took off from Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya and culminated at Geeta Kutir Ghat. A total distance of 1.5 km was covered. The rally participants sensitized the local communities and tourist on the proper disposal of the waste and encouraged them to maintain healthy ecosystem in the vicinity of the Ganga River.
2. Cleanliness Drive
A cleanliness drive was organized at the Ganga kutir Ghat, Haridwar with Professors and staff of Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya, representatives of Uttarakhand Science Education & Research Center, Dehradun, members of SEEMA and volunteers of NSS. All the participants participated in the cleanliness drive, with great enthusiasm. The cleanliness drive started at 10.30 a.m. and continued till 11.30 a.m. The Ghat premises and outside were cleared of plastic waste and bio-waste.
3. Swachhta Pledge
The Swachhta Pledge was taken at the Saptarishi Ghat, Haridwar. The participants pledged for never dumping any kind of pollution into the Ganga River or any other water body. They pledged from abstaining dumping of painted statues, plastic, polythene, detergents, chemicals and other non-biodegradable material into water bodies and also pledged to prevent the pollution of any religious place.
4. Plantation Drive
The plantation drive was conducted by WII-NMCG Team, students and faculty members of Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya. During the plantation drive, saplings of plant species with medicinal and religious values, were planted in the premises of the Vishwavidyalaya.
5. Training Workshop
The training team organized a capacity building workshop on “Ganga River’s Ecology and Biodiversity Conservation” at Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya, Haridwar in association with SEEMA and NSS. A total 25 post-graduate students and 7 professors attended the sensitization and training workshop.
CLEANLINESS DRIVE HELD ON THE OCCASION OF “SWACHHTA HI SEWA” PAKHWARA NARORA, UTTAR PRADESH (17TH SEPTEMBER-2ND OCTOBER 2017)
On the occasion of “Swachhta Hi Sewa” Pakhwara (17th September-2nd October 2017), a cleanliness drive, was organized on 2nd October 2017, at Rajghat, Gram Panchayat Rajghat. Local community (Youth, Shopkeepers), and volunteers (members of Shiv Sena, Dibai block) participated in this cleanliness drive.
The NMCG-WII project field team alongwith the Gram Pradhan, local communities, youth of the village, volunteers from Shiv Sena, shopkeepers on the Rajghat and tourists, cleaned the ghat. The objective of conducting this programme was to interact and encourage the visitors and local communities for keeping the ghats clean on a regular basis to ensure health and hygiene along the Ganga ghats and its vicinity. The efforts of the NMCG-WII team to sensitize local people and tourists were highly appreciated by the participants.
GANGA CHAUPALS HELD ON THE OCCASION OF “SWACHHTA HI SEWA” PAKHWARA NARORA, UTTAR PRADESH (17TH SEPTEMBER-2ND OCTOBER 2017)
On the occasion of “Swachhta Hi Sewa” Pakhwara (17th September-2nd October 2017), Ganga Chaupals were organized for the religious group on 27th September 2017 at Brighu Ashram, Narora and for local community on 1st October 2017 at Panchayat Ghar Dhaknagla, of Dibai blocks. Community members, including women and youth of Beheriya and Dhak Nagla Gram Panchayats participated in these Ganga Chaupals. Dr. Sandeep Behera, Biodiversity Consultant, NMCG was also present during the Ganga Chaupals .
During these Ganga Chaupals discussions were held emphasizing the role of religious groups and local communities in keeping the Ganga River and its surroundings clean. It was suggested that the religious groups and local community should actively participate and organize periodic cleanliness drives, and should encourage use of organic fertilizers. During the Ganga Chaupals, it was suggested that the messages of cleanliness and use of organic fertilizers could be delivered using religious and cultural platform. These platforms could also be used for spreading awareness on importance of Ganga River and its aqualife to the masses. The participants of the Ganga Chaupals, appreciated the efforts of the NMCG-WII team and agreed to carry forward the message of “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation”.
AWARENESS PROGRAMME HELD ON THE OCCASION OF “SWACHHTA HI SEWA” PAKHWARA NARORA, UTTAR PRADESH (17TH SEPTEMBER-2ND OCTOBER 2017)
On the occasion of “Swachhta Hi Sewa” Pakhwara (17th September-2nd October 2017), a swachhta awareness program was held by the project team at Udaygadi Junior High School and Rajghat Inter-College of Udaygadi and Rajghat Gram Panchayats, of Dibai block. The program was organized on 27th September 2017. Students of 6th to 8th standard of Udaygadi Junior High School and 10th to 12th classes of Rajghat Inter-College participated in the events. The students and teachers of these two schools were sensitized on importance of cleanliness of the Ganga river and its surroundings for ensuring a healthy ecosystem for its aqualife. Slogan and essay writing competitions were organized for the students of these two schools. Dr. Sandeep Behera, Biodiversity Consultant, NMCG was also present during the event and he distributed the prizes to the students. Dr. Behera also interacted with the students and informed the students about the biodiversity of the Ganga River, its aqualife, threats and significance of using organic fertilizers. Students and teachers along with the NMCG-WII Ganga team took Swachhta pledge (Humara Sankalp- Swacchta hi Sewa) on this occasion.
FIRST MEETING OF THE MONITORING COMMITTEE OF THE WII-NMCG PROJECT (BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION AND GANGA REJUVENATION)
The first meeting of the Monitoring Committee of the WII-NMCG Project was held at Wildlife Institute of India on 7th September 2017. The meeting was chaired by Shri U.P. Singh, Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) & Chairperson, Monitoring Committee. The committee members included Dr. V.B. Mathur, Director, Wildlife Institute of India, Dr. Savita, Director, Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, Dr. Arun Kumar, Director, Dolphin Institute of Biomedical & Natural Sciences, Dehradun, Dr. Raghav Langer, Director, State Program Management Group Uttarakhand, Dr. Sandeep Behera, Biodiversity Consultant, NMCG.
The entire WII-NMCG project team comprising of the faculty and the project personnel participated in the meeting.
The meeting started with the welcome of the monitoring committee members. Shri U.P. Singh, Director General, NMCG released the six brochures published under the “Vibrant Ganga Series”, on the aquatic fauna of Ganga River. After a round of introductions, the committee members were given a brief on the project. Shri U.P. Singh, in his opening remarks stated that although Wildlife Institute of India’s biodiversity project is small in financial terms, it is a very important component of the NMCG and Namami Gange programme.
Presentations on the objectives, approaches and progress under the six components were given by the component coordinators. In addition to the presentations on the approach and work done on three specialized aspects of the project viz: Ecotoxicology, Genetics and Remote Sensing & GIS were also made.
The committee members were appreciative about the project approach and the progress achieved so far. Shri U.P. Singh concluded that project has initiated well, however, it is a very challenging task and we need to keep up the momentum. He suggested that other organizations and wings of NMCG, such as SPMGs, Ganga Vichar Munch and their activities should also be linked with the biodiversity conservation.
TWO MONTHS (JULY & AUGUST 2017) AWARENESS CAMPAIGN FOR SCHOOL CHILDREN OF UTTARAKHAND
Awareness campaign spreading over the months of July and August 2017 was organized by the Wildlife Institute of India under Component 3 of the NMCG-WII project for school children. The main objective of this awareness campaign was to sensitize the school children on the importance of the Ganga River, its biodiversity with emphasis on the indicator species of Ganga River, emerging threats with mitigation measures and significance for conservation. During this campaign a total of 210 participants (186 school children and 24 teachers) from seven schools viz. Kendriya Vidyalaya, Indian Military Academy, Vidhya Niketan School, Kendriya Vidyalaya, ONGC, DSKSS Secondary School Chandrabani, Vanijaya Institute and Physics Academy, SGRR School of Dehradun district participated in the campaign. Students (12-17 years) were selected from secondary section of the schools. To disseminate the knowledge among the school children different modes were used, viz. Pictorial presentations, lectures and documentaries of aquatic fauna of Ganga River. The WII training team comprised of Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Dr. Deepika Dogra, Ms. Monika Sharma, Ms. Ekta Sharma, Ms. Anita Devi and Ms. Jyoti chakrawarti.
GANGA VRIKSHAROPAN SAPTAH DATE:25TH-31ST JULY
The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) under the banner of NMCG-WII’s Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation project and part of the plantation drive, “Ganga Vriksharopan Saptah- 25th to 31st July 2017” on forestry intervention of NMCG, planted 1755 saplings in various parts of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Tree species with economic, medicinal and cultural values were planted with an approach of individuals and households adopting the sapling. Volunteers from Nehru Yuva Kendra, students of various schools and colleges, members of local communities including women participated in the plantation drive. The plantation drive conducted throughout the week also marked the celebration of “World Nature Conservation Day” on the 28th of July to spread awareness about the Biodiversity Conservation of Ganga River and its Biodiversity.
Plantation was carried at 29 sites located at the banks of the Ganga River. WII team and Uttarakhand Forest Department planted saplings at Devprayag and Rishikesh. At Neem Beach, Rishikesh 80 saplings of 10 different species viz. Bauhinia variegata, Bauhinia purpurea, Cassia fistula, Emblica officinalis, Aegle marmelos, Syzygium cumini, Dabregessia hypoleuca, Azadirachta indica, Toona ciliata and Woodfordia fruticosa were planted. At Devprayag, the team planted 100 saplings of four tree species namely Morus alba, Syzygium cumini, Emblica officinalis and Terminalia bellerica. The plantation site here was named Ganga Van and will be used in future to train and sensitize people. Selected Ganga Praharis will look after the health of the sapling and ensure their survival at the Ganga Van.
At Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, 300 saplings belonging to species Tectona grandis, Dalbergia sissoo, Cassia fistula, Cassia sp., Bombax ceiba and Psidium guajava were planted by villagers including women and school children at Rampur, Chandrawati, Kaithi, Dhaka, Molnapur and Gobarahan villages. At Narora, Bulandshahar site 600 saplings of Terminalia arjuna, Tamarindus indica, Pongamia pinnata, Dalbergia sissoo, Bauhinia variegata were planted at five Ganga Grams viz. Gokulpur Khader, Nayabas, Billona Roop, Haridwarpur Beheriya and Rajghat were planted. Awareness programme about Ganga Vriksharopan and Aqualife was conducted in Primary and Junior Schools in Udaygarhi, Narora where six teachers and 72 students participated. Essay writing competition on the topic Ganga and Environment Protection was organized for the students. At Primary school Naudai, Narora Drawing Competition on the topic Ganga Aqualife was organized, 50 students and two teachers participated in the programme.
In Kannauj and Farukhabad, the team planted 675 saplings of Azadirachta indica, Albizia lebbeck, Syzygium cumini, Mangifera indica, Dalbergia sissoo, Neolamarckia cadamba. The plantation drive also included the sensitization workshops on biodiversity of the Ganga River for local communities in collaboration with the Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Forest Departments, Nehru Yuva Kendra (Varanasi) and Ganga Vichar Manch (Kannauj and Farakkhabad).
SITE 1: Rishikesh and Devprayag (Uttarakhand)
SITE 2: Varanasi, Bulandshahr, Kannauj, and Farukhabad (Uttar Pradesh)
CONSERVATION AWARENESS AND SENSITIZATION PROGRAMME FOR STUDENTS OF SECONDARY GOVERNMENT SCHOOL, SARNATH ON 4TH JULY 2017
One day conservation awareness and sensitization programme for school students at Secondary Government School, Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh was organized on 4th July 2017. The programme began with a formal interaction between the team members of Wildlife Institute of India, Mr. Ajay Jain, Councillor, Sarnath, Varanasi and students of the Secondary Government School, Sarnath. Around 50 school children and teachers participated in this sensitization programme. The main objective of this programme was to sensitize school children on the faunal diversity of Ganga River including culture, belief and people living around it. During the programme, slogans on saving the Ganga and its biodiversity were painted on the walls of the villages around Sarnath to create awareness. After this, cleanliness drive was organized in and around the villages of Sarnath. School children, teachers and the team from Wildlife Institute of India actively participated in this cleanliness drive that started at 11.30 a.m. and continued till 2.00 p.m. The participants cleared plastic waste as well as the bio-waste. Students were sensitized on the harmful impacts of plastic use and they were also informed on its proper disposal methods. This exercise emphasized on the need to spread the message of cleanliness among the masses, so that the grand vision of cleanliness in and around the Ganga River Basin is realised. Dr. Ruchi Badola, Scientist G WII, gave a formal Vote of thanks at the end of the programme with hope that trained, sensitized and enthusiastic participants carry the noble message in their work and deeds. The WII training team comprised of Dr. Ruchi Badola, Dr. S.A. Hussain, Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Dr. Pariva Dobriyal, Mr. Goura Chandra Das, Ms. Amanat Gill, Mr. Narendra Mohan and Ms. Suneeta Rawat.
ONE DAY WORKSHOP ON "BIOLOGY AND CONSERVATION OF TURTLES IN GANGA RIVER" FOR WELHAM BOYS SCHOOL, SARNATH ON 4TH JULY 2017
Under an initiative to enhance the awareness of students as part of the NMCG-WII project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation”, the training team organised one day training-cum-conservation awareness workshop on “Biology and conservation of Turtles in Ganga River” for Welham Boys (School) on 4th July 2017 at Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh. This event was also covered by the NDTV crew as part of their “Behtar India” initiative, in which the Welham Boys School is an active participant. The workshop was attended by students and teachers of Welham Boys School, Dehradun and their parents. The workshop was inaugurated with message to conserve and save the turtles of Ganga River by Dr. Sangeeta Angom. The programme was followed by an introductory session of the students with WII team and Mr. S.K Singh, Forest Range Officer, Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, Sarnath. The students were introduced to classification, characteristics, morphology, feeding and reproductive biology of soft and hard shelled turtles. The participants were also provided hands-on training and were introduced to rehabilitation techniques for turtles by Dr. S.A. Hussain. The purpose of the workshop was to sensitize the school children on the ecological significance, importance of conservation of turtles of Ganga River, their role in cleaning the River and maintaining ecological balance in wetland ecosystem.
The workshop concluded with discussions on threats and conservation strategies of turtles of Ganga River, with emphasis on the role of students and citizens. Dr. Ruchi Badola concluded the workshop with vote of thanks and distribution of certificates to the particiapnts. The WII team included Dr. S.A. Hussain, Dr. Ruchi Badola, Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Dr. Rajeev Chauhan, Mr. Gaura Chandra Das, Mr. Vipul Maurya and Mr. Narendra Mohan.
TRAINING CUM SENSITIZATION WORKSHOP FOR FOREST OFFICIALS ON "BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION AND MONITORING TECHNIQUES OF AQUATIC SPECIES OF GANGA RIVER" ON 3RD JULY 2017
Training cum sensitization workshop for forest officials on “Biodiversity Conservation and monitoring techniques of aquatic species of Ganga River” was organized on 3rd July 2017 at the Hotel SGT Plaza, near Turtle Breeding Centre, Sarnath, Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh). This training workshop aimed at developing the skills of the forest department in assessing and monitoring the aqutic fauna of Ganga River. The purpose of this workshop was also to sensitize the forest officials about the biodiversity profile of Ganga River, significance of their conservation and issues associated therein. The workshop started with welcome of the participants and formal inauguration by Dr. Sangeeta Angom. The workshop was attended by 26 forest officials from Kashi Wildlife Division, Varanasi and 4 Forest Ranges (Ghazipur, Allahabad, Sarnath, Varanasi) of Uttar Pradesh Forest Department.
An introduction round was held as a warming up excercise. Dr. S. A Hussain presented an overview about the NMCG-WII project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” also highlighted the objectives and goals of the project. Mr. Kritish De, explained the capturing techniques for invertebrate Fauna with reference to Insects found in Ganga River basin. Mr. Bitupan Baruah gave a presentation on monitoring techniques of Aquatic Reptiles and Amphibians of Ganga River Basin with special reference to Frogs and Toad. Ms. Anuja Mittal talked about monitoring techniques of Turtles and Crocodiles of Ganga River. Mr. Vipul Maurya gave a presentation on Ecology and Biology of Gangetic River Dolphin with reference to its various monitoring techniques. Mr. Gaura Chandra Das talked about the monitoring techniques of Birds of Ganga River Basin. Dr. Ajit Kumar explained and discussed the collection techniques of various biological samples and its preservation techniques, with reference to fauna of Ganga River basin. Dr. Animesh Talukdar, talked about the case studies on Rescue and Rehabilitation of Aquatic Fauna with reference to Crocodiles and Turtles of Ganga River basin and worldwide. At the end of the workshop training impact assessment and feedback session was conducted. Dr S. A Hussain, Dr. Ruchi Badola and Dr. Sangeeta Angom, distributed the certificates to all participants and also felicitated the SDO, S.M Srivastava, Varanasi, UP for his active participation during the workshop. The session was concluded with vote of thanks by Dr. Sangeeta Angom.
ONE DAY TRAINING CUM SENSITIZATION WORKSHOP ON "RESCUE AND REHABILITATION OF AQUATIC FAUNA AND ROLE OF DIFFERENT STAKEHOLDERS IN BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION OF GANGA RIVER" ON 28TH JUNE 2017.
The training workshop took place on 28th June 2017 at the Sabhagar Vikas Bhawan in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh. The training workshop started at 9’o clock in the morning with registration of the participant. Around 65 participants including the Chief Veterinary Officer and Staff; Divisional Forest Officer and forest Guards; S.D.M. and Staff, Sadar; S.S.P, Bulandshahr; Chief Development Officer; District Magistrate, Bulandshahr took part in the workshop. After registration Ms. Monika Sharma formally opened the workshop with a brief overview about the workshop objectives and targets. Dr. Sangeeta Angom, welcomed the participants and conducted an introduction round for each participant including the WII team member. After that Dr. Angom presented an overview about the NMCG-WII project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation”.
Mr. Animesh Talukdar, talked about the principle and techniques of rescue and rehabilitation. He explained about different tools and techniques for saving the aquatic fauna of the River Ganga. He also discussed about the emerging wildlife diseases with special reference to aquatic fauna of River Ganga. Ms. Anuja Mittal talked about biology and behaviour of Turtles and Crocodiles. Mr. Aftab Alam Usmani talked about biology of Gangetic Dolphin and gave a detailed overview on technique and tools helpful for handling, capture and rescue of Gangetic Dolphin. Mr. Bitupan Boruah presented an overview on diseases of Amphibians with special reference to Frogs and Toad and their distribution. During his talk he also explained the documented methods, tools and techniques to study the population status of Amphibians, taxonomy, distribution patterns and emerging chytridiomycosis diseases as one of the threat to Amphibian diversity. Each presentation was followed by questions and discissions session. The participating officers of different departments appreciated the efforts made by the WII team. The C.D.O, Mrs. Jaspreet Kaur and Superintendent of Police Mr. P.K Tiwari motivated the participants to sensitize their fellow officers in their respective departments, on the need to restore the biological diversity of River Ganga. The workshop ended with certificate distribution and Vote of Thanks by Miss Ekta Sharma.
QUIZ COMPETITION ORGANIZED ON THE OCCASION OF WORLD CROCODILE DAY AT THE MALSI DEER PARK, DEHRADUN ON 17TH JUNE 2017.
The NMCG-WII project team celebrated the “World Crocodile Day” on 17th June, 2017 at the auditorium of the Malsi Deer Park (Dehradun Zoo). 55 participants, including the students and faculty of different colleges from Dehradun participated in this event with great enthusiasm. Ganga river provides habitat to three species of Crocodiles, and mythological creature Makar- half crocodile and half dolphin is known as vahan of the Godess Ganga. The purpose of this programme therefore was to sensitize the students about the ecological significance, habitat and distribution of crocodiles of Ganga River and conservation issues associated therein. An inter-college quiz competition was organized as part of this event on the theme: The Crocodile: Vahana of Vibrant Ganga. A total of five teams from colleges of Dehradun participated in the quiz programme. Ms. Amanat Gill conducted the quiz. There were a total of four rounds. In the qualifying round the participants were asked questions on classification, scientific and common names of Crocodiles, and the IUCN status. The other rounds had questions on Crocodile’s population worldwide and in India, distribution status, National Park famous for Crocodile, morphology and physiology, reproduction biology of the species. The quiz started at 10:00 a.m. and continued till 12.00 p.m. Certificates for the winning teams were distributed by Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Training Coordinator, NMCG-WII. The first prize was awarded to the team of Doon University, second was the team from Dayanand Brijendra Swarup PG College, and third was the team from Sardar Bhagwan Singh PG Institute of Biomedical and Natural Sciences and consolation prize was given to the team of Dolphin (PG) Colleges of Biomedical and Natural Sciences. During the programme, a group of enthusiastic special need kids from “Arunima” NGO also participated and cheered up the teams of colleges.
The WII team included Dr. Pariva Dobriyal, Dr. Sandhya Joshi, Mr. Ravindra Nath Tripathi, Ms. Hemlata Khanduri, Ms. Shatakshi Sharma and Ms Suneeta Rawat
3 DAYS TRAINING CUM SENSITIZATION WORKSHOP FOR POST GRADUATE STUDENTS ON CAPACITY BUILDING OF BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION OF GANGA RIVER AND ITS HABITAT ON 12TH TO 14TH JUNE 2017
A three days “Training cum Sensitization Workshop” for Post-graduates Students was organized at the WII headquarters, Dehradun during 12th to 14th June 2017. The target participants were post-graduate students from Doon University, SAI Group of Institutions, Dehradun, Indraprastha University, Delhi, Aligarh Muslim University, Uttar Pradesh and MSU, Gujarat. 65 participants took part in the training programme. The training was provided to develop the capacity of post graduate student’s on aquatic fauna of Ganga river, and issues pertaining to their conservation. The training also aimed to develop the skills of the students in assessing and monitoring the biodiversity of Ganga River.
The workshop was started with a brief introduction to the objectives and goals of the project “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation”. In the technical session, an overeview of the importance of river and wetland ecosystem, with reference to Ganga river was provided. Information on fish, amphibian, repitlian and avain diversity of Ganga River, and techniques for identification of species was provided. The participants were introduced to the social and cultural value of Ganga River, different sources of Ganga River pollution, and mitigation measures to minimise the pollution level. On second half of the first day, the participants were introduced to the studies on ecotoxicology, and detection of eco-toxicants in Ganga River and other river ecosystems of the World. They were also educated about the capturing techniques for Invertebrate Fauna with reference to Insects as an indicator species in a freshwater ecosystem.
On the second day, the participants were introduced to the principle and techniques of rescue and rehabilitation of aquatic fauna, viz. crocodiles and turtles. The participants were educated on the collection techniques of various biological samples including fresh and decomposed tissue, burnt samples, ashes etc. its preservation techniques, species identification and sequencing with reference to fauna of Ganga River basin. The participants were also introduced to data profiling, integration, enrichment, monitoring and evaluation related to data management software. During the second half of the day the participants were divided into six groups for a group activity. The groups were told to discuss and write down their perspective on the issues related to benefits from Ganga and detrimental actions towards Ganga River and the solutions for resolving these issues.
A guided nature trail was organized on the first half of the third day, with the aim to provide the participants an exposure to the identifications and monitoring techniques of birds and habitat. Later, they were given hands-on training on genetic techniques related to preservation of biological samples, DNA extraction protocols, sequencing techniques and interpretations. Feedback session was conducted at the end of the training programme, which was followed by certificate distribution ceremony and a group photograph.
CULMINATION PROGRAMME OF GANGA JAIV-VIVIDHTA PADYATRA ON 9TH JUNE 2017 AT TRIVENI GHAT RISHIKESH
The program informally started with the welcoming of the 13 padyatris coming after a long ardous journey of 9 days, which started from Devprayag on 1st June 2017 and culminated at Triveni Ghat on 9th June 2017. Participants from Wildlife Institute of India (WII), including researchers, staff and other faculty members headed by Dr. Ruchi Badola and Padamshree Dr. Anil P. Joshi cleaned the Triveni ghat. After arrival of chief guest Mr. P. Aggarwal, Mr. U.P. Singh and other dignitaries, the program formally started. Dr. Ruchi Badola, program coordinator of NMCG-Ganga, gave a welcome speech and introduced the dignitaries to the audience. Dr. G.S. Rawat, dean WII addressed the audience and stressed on the importance of the Himalayas and Ganga for the whole nation. He urged everyone to be like King Bhagirath and continue his legacy by striving to protect the integrity of Ganga just like he strived to bring Ganga to earth and ensured it flowed in its full force. Padamshree Dr. Anil P. Joshi, who flagged-off the padyatra in Devprayag, took over the dais and reinstated the need for people and government to work together for this cause. Mr. U.P. Singh mused about his connection with Ganga, how he ended up being a part of the project and expressed his gratitude towards Sushri Uma Bharti for providing all the necessary support to him and the project.
The 13 pad-yatris were felicitated by Mr. P. Aggarwal, Mr. U.P. Singh and Dr. A.P. Joshi. Dr. Dobriyal, who headed the village survey team, mentioned the path that they took for padyatra was an old yatra marg. She also said that it was interesting to see that people were welcoming and already knew why Ganga is important religiously and ecologically. Dr. Maurya, who headed the ecological survey team, was excited to share that even in difficult times and conditions they could work and achieve the results. Mr. P. Aggarwal, the chief guest for the evening, took over the dais and shared his thoughts with the audience. He rued that pollution from various sources have changed Ganga ‘swaroop’ or how it looks and credited hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi for this revitalized effort to clean Ganga. He also said that awareness has increased among the people regarding Ganga and its conservation and appreciated the efforts of the WII NMCG team for enhancing it further. He accentuated that Ganga has something special about it that is rejuvenating and energizing and which is why it should be saved and conserved before it’s too late. He praised the padyatris for their untiring efforts and requested everyone present to make a resolution of not letting Ganga get any dirtier. Dr. G.S. Rawat presented photographs depicting aqualife of Ganga as memento to Mr. P. Aggarwal, Mr. U.P. Singh and Dr. A.P. Joshi. The program ended with recital of the Ganga geet composed by Dr. Sandhya Joshi
WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY CELEBRATION ON 5TH JUNE 2017 AT FOREST RESEARCH INSTITUTE DEHRADUN.
On 5th June 2017, on the occasion of World Environment Day, the project activities under the “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” were showcased at the FRI’s exhibition titled “Van-Dhan” through electronic and print media on the theme “The Vibrant Ganga”. The project progress was displayed with the audio-visual aid. The print media containing information on the aquatic biodiversity of Ganga River – aquatic mammals, reptiles, breeding birds and fishes, were displayed. Drawings made by school children, earlier on 23rd May 2017 on the occasion of World Turtle Day were also displayed at the event. The project team comprising of Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Dr. Shivani Barthwal, Ms. Michelle Irengbam and Mr. Ravindra Nath Tripathi, participated in this event.
WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY CELEBRATION ON 5TH JUNE 2017 AT NAPS NARORA BULANDSAHR UP.
The Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun and Narora Atomic Power Station (NAPS), Narora celebrated the World Environment Day in Ganga Aqualife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center at NAPS STP facility under the “Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation” project. The occasion was honored by the gracious presence of Sushri Uma Bharti, Honorable Cabinet Minister, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. On her way to “Ganga Nirikshan Yatra” she visited the NAPS-WII Facility where rescued freshwater turtles are taken care before releasing in the Ganga River. On this occasion she planted an “Ashoka” tree in the Ganga Aqualife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre. She interacted with Dr. S.A. Hussain, Project Coordinator, WII and Mr. Subhashish Patra, Maintenance Superintendent, NAPS and all the WII and NAPS team and encouraged them to construct more centers for the biodiversity conservation. She acknowledged and appreciated the efforts and work done by WII with the support of NAPS towards the conservation of Ganga aqualife. She also told that this year’s World Environment Day theme “Connecting People with Nature” is not new to Indian traditional practices and beliefs and that with our daily small efforts we can contribute in making our environment more sustainable and feel more connected with nature.
On the occasion of World Environment Day, 50 students from schools in Narora actively participated in the awareness programme organized by WII in Ganga Aqualife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre. Dr. Niladri Dasgupta, Project Scientist, interacted with the students and informed them about the aquatic faunal diversity of the Ganga River.
ONE DAY STAKEHOLDER WORKSHOP ON 31ST MAY 2017 AT DEVPRAYAG UTTARAKHAND
One-day stakeholder workshop was organized in Devprayag on 31st May 2017. The workshop was attended by 60 people, representing the Uttarakhand Forest Department, HNB Garhwal University, Block Development Officials, Panchaytai raj Officials, Devprayag- Nagar Palika, Members of Ganga Aarti Samiti, Srinagar, Education Department, Himalaya Bachao Andolan – Srinagar, Mountain Development Research Centre, Representative Local community.
Shri GK Rustogi, Conservator of Forest, Pauri Circle, Uttarakhand Forest Department was the chief guest for the workshop. Dr. Shivani Barthwal welcomed the chief guest and the participants for the workshop. Dr. Ruchi Badola introduced the Wildlife Institute of India and the Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation project. Dr. S.A. Hussain talked about the role of local communities in maintaining Ganga’s sanctity. Dr Hussain informed the participants about the two types of rivers: snow-fed and rain-fed, the snow-fed rivers having a higher resilience. He told the gathering that the views of the stakeholders are important for revival of Ganga river. He also emphasized the need of reducing the water spillover through faulty agricultural and water abstraction practices. Professor M.S. Panwar, Head Department of Geography H.N.B Garhwal University, spoke on the issues of the Upper Ganga stretch. He emphasized the importance of the small streams or tributaries of main river both ecologically as well as culturally. He also talked about Ganga literacy and emphasized on spring revival through people’s participation and documentation of Ganga’s geology. Dr. Darmoda of Mountain Development Research Centre spoke about the problems arising due to dams in Srinagar that has resulted in dry stretches of the river for about 3 km in the area. He also informed that there is no sanitation facility for about 7000 laborers employed by various development projects in Srinagar. He talked the efforts put by the Ganga Aarti Samiti for plantation and cleaning of stretches of the river in Srinagar. DFO Tehri, Dr. Kokorose, told that the pollution in Ganga is as extensive as its reach. He said that Ganga river is surrounded by both agricultural as well as urban landscapes. Local communities involvement in plantation along Ganga is critical for Ganga conservation. Shri Rustogi, Conservator spoke about the importance of tributaries in maintaining the flow of the Ganga River and conserving the biodiversity of the tributaries. He informed about the plan to carry out afforestation along 5 km banks of the Ganga River. He spoke about integrated approach for Ganga rejuvenation and also spoke about consultation with the local community. Prof AK Bharadwaj, WII, told that Ganga is a culture, and the Panchayti Raj Institutions can play an important role in reviving Ganga. Shri Naithani of the Ganga Aarti Samiti, emphasized for the need of sewer and waste disposal.
The inaugural session was followed by high tea. Thereafter, the stakeholders were informed about the agenda and the group activity. For the group activity the stakeholders were divided into three groups, which had representatives from all the departments present on the occasion. The groups were told to discuss and write down their perspective on the issues of the Ganga and the solutions for resolving these issues
UNIVERSITY STUDENT WORKSHOP ON 30TH MAY 2017 AT DEVPRAYAG UTTARAKHAND :
As part of the NMGC and Wildlife Institute of India project “Biodiversity conservation and Ganga rejuvenation” a One-day Training cum Workshop was organized for graduates, post-graduate, PhD students and teachers, of colleges of Devprayag and Srinangar at Sangam Ghat, Devprayag on the confluence of Bhagirathi, Alaknanda and Saraswati in Devprayag. During the workshop Dr. Ruchi Badola, Scientist-G gave an over view of the project and its objectives highlighting the role of students in Biodiversity conservation of River Ganga. Dr. Shivani Barthwal, Project Associate gave a talk on Importance of river and wetland ecosystem followed by a detailed description on biodiversities in River Ganga by Dr. Niladri Dasgupta, Project Scientist. Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Training Coordinator, enriched the students about Ganga River pollution, its solution and suggested mitigation measures that can be done at an individual level. Dr. Pariva Dobriyal, Project Scientist enlightened the role of community in the conservation of ecological issues in Ganga River. All the participating students were given certificated by Dr SA Hussain the project coordinator.
It was decided during the workshop that the students would actively participate to conserve the biodiversity of Ganga River in its upper reaches and work for its cleanliness. Sh. Arvind Singh Jiyal, Former student leader at Omkaranad Saraswati Government degree College, Devprayag would be facilitating the formation of a Youth Group of students called ‘Devbhumi Ganga Prahari’ from various colleges around the area. These Praharis enthusiastically said that they would work dedicatedly for conservation and rejuvenation of Ganga River.
QUIZ DRAWING AND PAINTING COMPETITION ORGANISED ON THE OCCASION OF 'WORLD TURTLE DAY' AT THE SCHOOL OF UTTRAKHAND AND UTTARPRADESH ON 23rd MAY 2017
On the Occasion of “World Turtle Day” the project team organized an awareness programmes to sensitize the school children on the theme ‘Conservation of Turtles of Ganga’ and their role in cleaning the Ganga River and maintaining ecological balance in wetland ecosystem. The programme was conducted at Government Secondary School Sewla Kala, Raipur, Dehradun, and Saraswati Shiksha Sandan Academy Chandrabani, Dehradun and Rajghat Gram Panchayat, Narora, Uttar Pradesh.
Around 200 students actively participated in the awareness programmes at both the sites in Dehradun and Narora. The workshop was commenced by Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Training Coordinator, in two schools of Dehradun introducing the importance of turtles and outlines the existence of turtles in ancient literature and mythological religious belief of Vishnu taking the “Kurma avtar” during Samudra Manthan. A round of introduction of all the students of the workshop was conducted. Dr. Niladri Dasgupta discussed about the pictorial identifications of species of turtles found in Ganga River and their threats and conservation strategies with the students and teachers. Brochures on aqutic fauna of Ganga were distributed to the students. Drawing competitions were organized for students and participants were encouraged to put their thoughts and experiences about turtles of Ganga on canvas. Best five drawings were chosen and certificates and prizes were distributed to the students. At Narora sites, painting competition was organized. The students and teachers at both the locations responded with great enthusiasm and expressed that it was a great learning experience.
Dr. Pariva Dobriyal, Dr. Deepika Dogra, Dr. Sangeeta Angom, Dr. Niladri Dasgupta organized the event in Dehradun, and Ms. Shashi Joshi, Ms. Monika Mehralu, Ms. Vaishali Debnath, Ms. Anindita Debnath organized the event in Narora.
ONE DAY STAKEHOLDER TRAINING WORKSHOP, NARORA UTTAR PRADESH ON 18TH MAY 2017 :
The Wildlife Institute of India under NMCG-WII Project ‘Biodiversity Conservation and Ganga Rejuvenation’ organized a One Day Stakeholder Training Workshop in Narora, Bulandshahr District, Uttar Pradesh for Panchayat members of villages in Narora. The workshop was organized to sensitize the Panchayat members about the objectives and approaches of the project and make them aware about the ecological, economic and social value of the Ganga River. The Workshop was organized on 18th May 2017 in Uday Prabhat Guest House, Narora, Uttar Pradesh. The Chairman, Narora Nagar Panchayat, Pradhans and their respective ward members actively participated in the workshop. The workshop was started with the "Ganga Geet" on Aquatic Biodiversity of the Ganga River composed and sung by Dr. Sandhya Joshi.
The main aim of the workshop was to disseminate information and spread awareness about the mission, objectives and activities of the project, ecological significance and status of the aquatic biodiversity found in the Ganga River such as Gangetic Dolphins (Platanista gangetica), Mugger (Crocodylus palustris), Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus), breeding and resident birds and turtles and social, cultural and economic importance of the Ganga River. During the workshop the significant role and active involvement of the local communities and stakeholders at various levels was also discussed. With respect to alternate livelihood options the participants were made aware about the government schemes and agencies that are working on skill development for youth and women.
During this workshop, Memorandum of Understandings were signed between Wildlife Institute of India and Gram Panchayats of Bulandshahar, Uttar Pradesh which entails the Gram Panchayats pledging support for conservation of the Ganga biodiversity.
Dr. Pariva Dobriyal, Dr. Sandhya Joshi, Ms. Hemlata Khanduri, Ms. Shashi Joshi, Ms. Aditi Dev, Ms. Monika Mehralu, Ms. Vaishali Vasudev, Ms. Anindita Debnath, from the Wildlife Institute of India, organized this workshop.
Images -One Day Stakeholder Training Workshop held on 18th May 2017 in Narora, Uttar Pardesh
- The first phase of assessment of aquatic biodiversity of Ganga is being carried out form Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh till Farakka in West Bengal. Our team has already carried out survey in a 570 km stretch between Bijnor to Kanpur during 14th-25th April, 2017. The survey from Kanpur to Farakka is presently underway.
- National aquatic animal ‘Dolphin’, Gharial, Mugger, wetland birds, freshwater turtles, frogs and snakes were encountered during the survey. Assessment of this information is undergoing for comprehensive biodiversity profiling of Ganga River.
- Siebold’s smooth scaled water snake (Enhydris sieboldii) was reported after 70 years from the main stem of Ganga River.
Habitat assesment for the aquatic diversity along the banks of Ganga River :
PARTICIPATION IN GANGA SWACHHTA PAKHWADA, HARIDWAR.
A team from the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) comprising of 3 faculty members, namely, Dr. Gautam Talukdar, Dr. Suresh Kumar and Dr. Sandeep Kumar Gupta, along with 5 research scholars and 2 resource persons participated in the Ganga Swachhta Pakhwada, organized in Haridwar on 31st March, 2017, by the Centre for Environment Education (CEE) and Divya Prem Sewa Mission (DPSM) and supported by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. Shri Madan Kaushik, Minister of Urban Development, Government of Uttarakhand, graced the occasion as the chief guest. Other dignitaries present at the event were Shri U. P. Singh ‐ Director General NMCG, Shri Manoj Garg ‐ Mayor of Haridwar and Shri S. A. Murugesan ‐ District Magistrate of Haridwar.
The event commenced with an exhibition of posters designed by CEE and WII informing people about Ganga River and the work that has been carried out by the two institutes. A “padyatra” along the Ganga River from Ganga Ghat to Chandi Ghat and adopt a Ghat campaign was organized followed by the ‘Swachh Ganga’ pledge. The programme at Chandi Ghat included performances like dance on the ‘Namami Gange’ anthem by school children, dance on Ganesh Vandana, classical dance depicting the story of the Ganga River and a street play and drama on the plight of the Ganga River.
RESCUE AND REHABILITION CENTRES :
Turtle rearing and rehabilitation centres at Varanasi and Narora were adopted and upgraded as Rescue and Rehabilitation Centres
Turtle Rearing Facility Narora
Turtle Rehabilitation Centre Sarnath
Centre 1 (a): Rescue Rehabilition centre Narora NAPS Bulansahr UP
Centre 1 (b): Turtle Rescue and Release Operation Narora NAPS Bulansahr UP
Centre 2 (a): Turtle Rearing Facility Sarnath UP
Centre 2 (b): Rescue and Release Operation Sarnath UP
LAUNCH OF NAMAMI GANGE PROGRAMME ON 7TH JULY 2016 :
Ganga Knowledge Centres launched at the five sites, including Ganga Aqualife Conservation and Monitoring Centre at WII, Dehra Dun, on 7th July 2016. Other National launch programmes at
Last Updated: July 15, 2019