A modern day movement in support of the planet began in this month close to half a decade ago. Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring had awoken so many of the youth, and increasingly degraded air and surroundings lead to more people raising concern and springing into action. Environmental health was, for the first time, a part of tea time discussions of the common man and the agendas of the politicos. That was 1970. This is 2015.
Despite increased awareness and more inclusive action to address environmental issues, we are, unfortunately, still in the midst of a climatic crisis, one that leaves us with a precarious future. One of the biggest reasons for this climatic turmoil is deforestation. However, it is not only the risks of climatic turmoil that we face due to deforestation, it is also a loss of our food and water security. Ahead of Earth Day on the 22nd of April, this workshop by Priyanka Pandit was about this very concern: loss of our green spaces.
As part of Kokuyo Camlin’s ‘Camlin Kids Power’ initiative, Camlin promotes awareness of burning social issues amongst underprivileged children through mediums such as music and art.
How glad we were to Priyanka and the folks from Camlin over to explain food chains, deforestation and food security with the help of a book and a guitar!
To begin with, Priyanka took the students on a tour of the forest. A forest comprises of producers, consumers, decomposers and the likes. The consumers are herbivores and carnivores which are poles apart in every way, but still have one common link: the producer, our very own forest.
After understanding each group’s place in the bigger picture, it was time for a story. The students were read a short story about a forest and the events that take place to change it forever. The students were meant to keep an ear out for any animals or plants they could identify as members of the groups they had learnt of.
The story brought up vital concerns over the future of the forests in light of its link to the world outside of it. If we were to cut all the trees of the forest, soon the herbivore population would be wiped out, only taking along with it every carnivore.
The other way around, if we were to wipe off the predator population, eventually the herbivore populations would rise without check and gravely affect the health of the forest through overgrazing. The result of both these scenarios leads to one consequence: the loss of forests. With the forests acting as carbon stores, regulating the planet’s rainfall and storing our water in underground tables, the consequences of both the scenarios are a very hefty price for us a pay.
To permanently store in our heads some information, simply add a tune to it. And, that is exactly what we did. The students went singing on a trail around the E-Base. The sang about the forests, its residents and the tranquil, and how quickly that can change.
To culminate this wonderful workshop, the students were each given an animal or plant to be part of the food web. Each group, be it consumers, decomposers or even producers, needs the other to survive. Our job as a race is to ensure that they do.
Camlin Kids Power’s video will be out soon, and when it is we will be sure to share it!
Photos courtesy of Camlin.