Port Blair, May 19: Society for Promotion of Serve Humanity Among Youths (SPARSHA) successfully organized a day-long Nature Camp for students at Mt. Manipur, previously known as Mt. Harriet on Sunday 19th May, 2024. This event aimed to educate and inspire young minds about the importance of biodiversity, environmental conservation, and healthy living, saw an overwhelming participation students from various schools in South Andaman.

The camp commenced with an insightful lecture on the Bird Biodiversity of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands by Arun Singh, President of the Andaman Avians Club (AAC). Following the lecture, the students engaged in a bird-watching session around the summit, guided by Ms. Chandralekha, an educator from AAC, who shared her expertise and enthusiasm for avian life.

In the second session, Anand Rao, Meera P.K., and Druva Kumar from the Dakshin Foundation/Andaman Nicobar Environment Team (ANET) addressed the critical issue of Waste Management. Using informative posters, Anand Rao highlighted the detrimental effects of indiscriminate use of plastics. He explained in simple terms how plastics get converted to micro-plastics, enter the food chain and impact the environment and human health, particularly affecting fishing communities.

The third technical session focused on Health and Hygiene related issues, conducted by Dr. Avijit Roy, Deputy Director (Health). Dr Roy emphasized on the importance of maintaining good health through proper immunization, a balanced diet and regular exercise. He encouraged the students to engage in outdoor sports and practice yoga to lead a balanced and disease-free life.

Dr. Roy also participated in SPARSHA’s Annual General Meeting, where he released the Annual Report. In his address, he commended SPARSHA's dedicated social work and urged the organization to continue addressing the pressing societal issues faced by the islands. Speaking on the occasion Debkumar Bhadra, President SPARSHA presented a brief overview of the NGO and the plan programs they intend to undertake during the year.

A quiz competition on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands' diverse aspects was another highlight of the camp. All the students actively participated, and the results will be announced shortly, with rewards for the winners.

Debkumar Bhadra, President of SPARSHA lauded the students for their enthusiastic participation despite the early morning rain. He expressed gratitude to the Deputy Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), the Divisional Forest Officer South Andaman, Department of Environment and Forests, A&N Administration, for their cooperation and support. He also thanked Dr. Avijit Roy, Dakshin Foundation/ANET and the Andaman Avians Club for their valuable contributions to the camp’s technical sessions. The President also thanked all the members, volunteers and donors for the successful conduct of the Nature Camp.

The Nature Camp saw participation of 31 students from Class VIII and above, representing various schools in the South Andaman district. The event was a testament to SPARSHA’s commitment to fostering environmental awareness and healthy living among the youth.