A loud croak greets you when you enter the room. After walking in, you see frogs of all sizes and colours. While some are made from wood, perched on a glass cabinet, others are made with papier mache. Some more are printed on pieces of clothing.
FrogFest — a first-of-its-kind exhibition at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), inaugurated on January 15 — “celebrates frogs in art and nature” to “build awareness on the need for conservation of these species and highlight their role in the natural world”.
Curated by Aditya Arya and Mamata Pandya, the exhibition features the personal collection of more than 350 frog artefacts of former WWF member Seema Bhatt from over 40 countries.
The exhibition will be open till April 2018. “My collection is about 500, but there are more than 350 artefacts on display here. It’s difficult to say why I started collecting frogs, but once I picked up my first frog at Nairobi, wherever I went, I found frogs so I picked them up.
They became the souvenir to look for everywhere. Frogs are very important for the ecosystem. If they disappear, your whole system collapses. They’re very sensitive indicators of biodiversity loss, their skin is very sensitive. I thought it was time to share the collection with a larger audience,” said Bhatt, the Honorary Vice-President of The Ecotourism Society of India. Radhika Suri, director of Environment Education at WWF, said they “hope to have students from a different school every day for the next three months”. Currently, the focus is on primary school children.
S D Biju, a DU professor also known as the ‘Frogman of India’, will interact with students too. “Because of excessive focus on some animals like tigers and elephants, other animals are getting neglected,” he said.