IndianOil helps save migratory birds in West Bengal
KOLKATA: Building on IndianOil’s focus on reaching out to the remotest corners of the country and contributing towards environmental protection its eastern region has decided to raising awareness about protecting one of the remotest and least talked about migratory bird habitats in West Bengal.
Purbasthali is a remote village and till recently an inconspicuous dot on the traveller’s map of Burdwan district. The sleepy silence of Purbasthali is broken from early December every year with the arrival of migratory birds who have flown from halfway across the world.
The Ox Bow Lake formed from the mighty Ganges caresses past villages like Chupi and Kasthashali to become home to thousands of migratory birds. The crystal clear waters of the 9 km long channel of the Ox Bow Lake and the surrounding fruit orchards and farmlands harbour more than 70 species of local and migratory birds.
“However, like most gifts of nature, human greed and lack of community awareness is pushing this whole habitat towards grave danger. Hunting of birds by unscrupulous visitors and poachers has opened up this bird sanctuary to existential threat. In addition to that, the oxbow lake is getting shallower and is getting inundated with weeds thus disturbing the ecological balance of the area,” an IndiaOil executive said. “To counter this menace and to protect this habitat that houses one of the most beautiful bird sanctuaries in the country; raising of local awareness levels amongst local population is always the first significant step.”
IndianOil along with The Junglees, an NGO who doing significant work for protection of natural habitats in the country, took upon a massive awareness drive amongst the local residents of Purbasthali.
It focused on grooming the local school students as volunteers who will propagate the knowledge and lead the efforts to protect the habitat.
“The Junglees have played a critical role in identifying the potential of Purbasthali as a birding paradise way back in 1988 and since then has been working relentlessly for environmental protection in this area,” the executive said.
IndianOil’s campaign included a mega Student’s Walk through the heart of Purbasthali where over two thousand students walked for the cause of raising awareness against poaching of birds and protecting the oxbow lake.
Instrumental in pushing the awareness drive were teachers from over 10 school in the region and the voluntary enthusiasm driven towards environmental protection managed to catch the imagination of the local population.
The Economic Times 12-02-2020