All ears to the call of the wild

All ears to the call of the wild
The curiosity around nature and wildlife is ingrained in everybody, be it playing on a heap of sand or planting a sapling as part of a school project or looking after a pet. Capitalising on the call of wild, here is a group comprising people from all walks of life who do their bit to conserve wildlife.

They not only meet once a week but also chalk out elaborate plans to design their treks and travel to discover the unknown in the wild. They hold regular workshops and rope in youngsters in their mission.

Prem Mitra, an active member of the group, points out that his association with the wild, goes back to his college days. “Most of the members of the group have a strong background in science and are always engaged in some research. We also go on short trips around Bengaluru and our meets at the Bannerghatta National Park remain constant,” he says.

The members make all efforts to understand what causes wildlife depletion, disappearance of the rarest of species and find ways to conserve them. Aswath S Honnavar, another member of the group, says that his interest in wildlife began as a child when he accompanied his parents on their treks. “My parents used to travel a lot and I would always go with them. It’s the spontaneity to venture out into the wild that I enjoyed the most. It is not only rejuvenating but an effortless exercise because it came very naturally to me,” he says. This interest deepened and today, Aswath says he regularly travels out to places like Nagarhole National Park, Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary and Kabini.

Aaranya Gayathri, who holds a degree in food processing, joined the group just after she completed a research paper on reptiles. “I worked with reptiles, including a project on crocodiles, for two years, before I actively got involved in wildlife. I can’t imagine a life without being in the wild,” she says. 

Software professionals find these treks and wildlife travels the best way to beat stress. Arun Kumar clocks in long hours at TCS and says that his wildlife outings are a way to beat work-related stress. Arun lives near Mandya and he says that the surroundings attract plenty of rare birds. “I used to spend hours just observing the birds and their behaviour, especially when it came to watching them take care of the young ones and hunting for food,” says Arun.

Nicola Ramji, another professional, says that only after she joined the group did she realise that she could do so much more to conserve wildlife. “I understood the importance of conserving wildlife not only for this generation but for posterity as well, only after attending these meetings,” she observes.

There are a few people like Dilip Kumar A and Vasanthraju, who have been working with wildlife conservation organisations and still find time to attend the meetings. “I wanted to work with a wildlife conservation centre before I joined a course in MSc. This experience will help me in my field work,” feels Dilip.

Vasanthraju pitches in saying, “Travelling to different places is indeed an enriching experience.” Sandip and Sunil, who are also an integral part of the group, say that they always look forward to the monthly meetings. “Every meeting serves as a perfect platform for exchange of information and ideas. This is what got us hooked to the cause of conservation,” they say. It’s not only the call of the wild but the urge to contribute substantially to conserving wildlife that has brought this group together.

(For details, mail -
honnavar@gmail.com)

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