INSTILLING the quality to conserve nature among youngsters, Lucknow-based wildlife protector Anurag Kumar has set up a nature school for rural children in Bansinagar village, close to Dudhwa Tiger Reserve in Uttar Pradesh. His dedication earned him the Green Teacher Award at the 16th Sanctuary Wildlife Awards on Thursday. Kumar, one among the many ‘green’ winners, will be felicitated at NCPA on December 18.
Kumar’s two-room school, set amidst the sugarcane fields, has a library with books and movies, covering almost all aspects of wildlife. As many as 35 children rush to this school every day to get their dose of nature—bird watching, wildlife rescue and litter collection.
He runs this school with 30% of his salary in association with the UP Power Corporation Limited. With limited funds, he provides children with basic essentials such as warm clothes and stationery. Recognising his tireless contribution, the Green Teacher Award has been bestowed upon him.
Besides Kumar, many others, including forest officers, researchers and activists have been recognised for their work in being ‘Earth’s friends’. Winner of the Wildlife Service award is Varad Giri who surveys remote areas to understand the distribution and classification of little-known species. In fact, he also discovered several new species of snakes, geckos, frogs and caecilians. Another winner is Param Jit Singh, who thwarted the efforts of poachers and have been involved in a series of wildlife contraband seizures.
The awardees were picked from 3,000 entries by a panel of judges. Bittu Sahgal, founder and editor of Sanctuary Asia, who was one of the judges, said, “Nature conservation is the way towards national integration. It is not a one-person’s problem but requires collective effort.”