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V D Bala – an Environmentalist

V D Bala

V. D. Bala is working as a Range Forest Officer at Nature Education Sanctuary, Hingolgadh which is situated in Gujarat state of India. His heart beats of nature and environment. Working for nature is not only a job for him but a passion too. He is the President of Navrang Nature Club which is engaged in various environment related activities. He conducts nature programs where students do participate and spend one night in a jungle and get to know nature that way.

In this interview with SpeakBindas, he sheds more light on various activities run by his club as well as provides some concrete information on environment.

Videos of Interview

Part 1

Part 2

Excerpt of Interview

Q.: In addition to doing a Government job, you also run Navrang Nature Club, which is engaged with various environment related activities. What really inspired you to initiate it?

As I work as a Range Forest Officer at Nature Education Sanctuary, Hingolgadh, I have observed that the students, who do come there for visit, can not continue exploring nature after visiting it. Like you said and like many other people say that, we only tend to keep complaining about various issues such as summer is really getting hot, no enough water, trees are being cut etc. We do nothing concrete but simply express our grief only. Instead why don’t we start doing something from our side? Say for example, by planting a tree we can try to decrease the earth heat.

Hence, I thought that the students who are our future should be taught and inspired about environment. Hence, we established Navrang Nature Club and to start with we started conducting, informative and interesting exams related to environment.

Q.: Under the roof of Navrang Nature Club, which activities are being done?

Our centres are mostly villages. We started with taking environment related exams of students.

Secondly, we inspired students to plant trees. In villages, there is enough land for tree plantation. In villages, there is no expense of making the iron-guards to cover the trees. Spikes are used for the same. In the year 2009, we planted 43,000 trees with support of students.

Another program is “Ram Ki Chidiya, Ram Ka Khet”. Under this program, we requested farmers to harvest one row of grains such as Juvar, Bajri in their farms to be used to feed the birds. In the year 2009, total of 18000 farmers implemented this program in their farms. Another benefit of this program is that the farmers have learned bird watching.

Q.: These days, population of sparrows has decreased to a larger extend. What efforts your club is doing towards increasing it?

In the earlier time, there used to be couple of recesses in walls of every home, statues of gods were used to be hung in the living room (where sparrows used to build their nests), no existence of fans in home etc. which were supporting factors for the lifestyle of sparrow.

Now, all the above things have become reverse. Sadly, nature hasn’t taught sparrow to build a nest in trees. Hence, we made artificial nests for sparrow which were made of hardpaper, iron and wood. From experiences, we found that the nests made of hardpaper are more convenient, which are of the size 5X5 inches.

Again, through our network of 50000 students, we have handed over these nests at nominal prices with a note in the nest that, if a sparrow builds its nest in there, do inform us. From the information we have received so far, this project has been successful in city as 38% where as in villages, its ratio is around 86%.

In conversation with V D Bala
In conversation with V D Bala

Q.: Students from city mostly do learn about nature through the books. Does your club arrange any program where you invite students to experience nature in real?

Discussing about nature is the first step towards spreading awareness of nature to students, but it is not the entire way. So taking it further, we organize a program where we take students to their village’s near by forest where they spend one night with minimal facilities. There we teach them to identify various plants; we make them walk in dark without carrying torch which increases their confidence. They also learn sky watching. We make tents with grass and clothes. They bring their food in Tiffin. Hence, with minimal expense, they learn things about nature in reality.

So far, through such 76 Shibirs at 6 difference forests, total of 4500 students have been benefited through this program.

Q.: Can you please mention few of such natural places which fall in Saurashtra region?

Yes, there is beautiful hill Osam Dungar which is near Dhoraji. You can get to see many natural plants and birds there. Another place is Lake of Vadsad which is near Jadeshwar Mahadev near Wankaner. In Bhavnagar district, there is a forest of Tambakundi which is near village Amla. Then Rajendra Hill which is in Lokbharti Sanosara. Mountain range of Shinhor. Then there is jungle of Hinolgadh too. These are some of few other beautiful natural places.

Q.: Sankrant is a festival of India when people fly kites in the sky. Kind of strings used for flying kites is indeed danger for birds that too are flying in sky. Every year, many birds do get injured and mostly die when such strings do tear their body parts apart while they are flying in the sky. Is there any solution to this situation?

For last five years, we have been giving press notes in newspapers asking people to hand over such birds which get injured during festival of Sankrant. In most of the cases, where we receive injured birds, they don’t live further and die. Hence, this year we thought do something different. We went to schools and explained students the importance of flying kites. We told them that our ancestors taught us the skill of flying kites for the reason to see up in life and progress with confidence, not to cut kites of others. These days, flying kites is all about cutting kites of others.

And, time of birds to fly in the sky is mostly during morning upto 9 O’clock and then at evening from 4 O’clock. So we requested students to fly kites between 9 to 4. This way, both the issues are solved, i.e. they can fly kites as well birds won’t get injured.

Q.: What’s the role of students in the activities you are involved with?

Under our program “Vruksh Mandir Yojna”, students from Saurashtra region donated Rs. 44,000/- to Navrang Nature Club, by saving their one day’s pocket money. This is indeed an incredible incident for us. With the help of this donation, we bought plants of Sapota and with their hands only, we donated them to many families.

Q.: Any special message regarding environment that you would like to share with us?

I would like to request all friends to do something which is concrete to save the environment, as mere discussions about saving environment is not needed these days. You will help save environment by saving one glass of water and also by not using the plastic bags etc. So do whatever you can do in a concrete way. Thank you.

About

Devang Vibhakar is the Founder and Editor of www.SpeakBindas.com. He has interviewed more than 350 people. His effort was recognized by Limca Book of Records, twice. He has been to Scotland as well as Germany as part of vocational & cultural exchange programs and has compiled five books so far. He's passionate about bringing forth interesting stories & interviews of entrepreneurs to avid readers of SpeakBindas. He can be reached here.

3 thoughts on “V D Bala – an Environmentalist

  1. Ajay Kumar Gupta says:

    Sir,
    I am working at Reliance industries Ltd at Jamnagar. Me and few of my frieds are doing some social jobs and also formed a natural club in which we are arranging nature trips for the benifits of our township residents. I am very impressed after knowing about the great jobs dons by Shri V.D Bala for nature. We are interested to contact them to start some of the ctivities specially “Chakli nu Ghar” at our “Reliance Greens” township where we have very rich green environment.Please provide us their contact details.

    1. Dear Ajay Kumar Gupta,

      You can contact V D Bala on his cell no. 9427563898.

  2. Nirupa Chotalia says:

    Dear Sir,,

    I have seen you very long time on speakbindas. I Liked your all Status about nature. i Had attanded Camp At Hingolagadh sentury. when I had been studied at N.B. Kambaliya Junagadh, I came there for 3 days camp. You are great man Sir. For save Nature Save Animals. I Salutted you.. Marvelous..

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About

Devang Vibhakar
Devang Vibhakar
(Editor, www.SpeakBindas.com)
SpeakBindas is a Limca Book of Awards winning blog. It's a PR3 blog with 1000+ articles & Interviews. Devang Vibhakar - Founder - has interviewed more than 350+ people and has been to Scotland, London & Germany. He's a writer, speaker, traveler & movie-goer !! He has also written four books. He's passionate about bringing forth interesting stories & interviews of people from various sectors of life to avid readers of SpeakBindas. You can reach him here .