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Tarumitra in India, an experience in conservation of flora and fauna

Junto al Dr. Robert Athickal Fundador y Coordinador de Tarumitra

Tarumitra means “Friends of Trees” in Hindi and Sanskrit. It is a student movement that aims to protect and promote care of the environment. The program was started by students and it now has involved hundreds of schools and universities nationwide.

As a fourth-year student in the Environment and Development Career, I am performing my professional practice in the Tarumitra organization, located in the state of Patna, India. The founder of the organization is Dr. Robert Athickal, who earned his Ph.D. in Ecology at the University of Boston, USA.

The organization has solar energy, organic agriculture, water recycling and biodiversity studies of fauna and flora. These subjects are used for educational purposes. There are daily visits by children and young people from schools and universities, who are instructed in the care to be given to the environment. The slogan that promotes the organization with students is “Think globally and act locally”.

One of the activities I have done is to assist some of those people responsible for organizing the activities undertaken with students. Students are given a presentation where we talk about the actions the organization takes to care for and protect natural resources. Many students buy plants from the nursery of the organization, and they are taught about the benefits that will be generated in the environment, as well as being a way they can appreciate nature even closer.

The seminar on ecology was an activity in which I participated, along with Dr. Athickal. We travelled to the city of Varanasi where 75 philosophy students participated in the event.

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Another seminar, given by Dr. Athickal, was held in the second week of Professional Practice. Students were encouraged to march outside the organization, proclaiming the reduced use of fuel and oil extraction.

Noting factors favorable to the organization and its environmental needs, I have initiated two projects:
• Recycling Project: Because the participants of the organization are mostly students, I consider it necessary to promote the recycling of solid waste. Seizing the opportunity to sensitize people about the consequences of throwing solid waste and the benefits of recycling, I used materials found in the waste dumps for teaching purposes.

• Biodiversity Project: The organization has a small plot of land that could be considered as a biological reserve. The variety of flora inside the reserve is known, but they still do not know the variety of animal life. The project consists of an inventory of the fauna of the wildlife biological reserve, so they may conserve these species. I will be constantly monitoring the wildlife species present during my free time.

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