Art for Wildlife Conservation initiative 2.0- Ladakh
Art for Wildlife Conservation was a small step towards protecting Ladakh's Endangered wildlife in the anthropocene age , but it demanded immediate extension and growth. The urgency of the matter at hand led me to initiate another project in Ladakh. This was the birth of the second phase and a realization that this cause requires dedication of a lifetime.
Previous interactions with the children in Ladakh informed me that they know very little about the wildlife of Ladakh. My aim this time around was to focus more on conducting workshops with children in remote areas . I conducted my first workshop in the girls hostel at Lamdon School, Leh.
It was a bright Sunday morning and these girls had no clue of how their day was going to shape up. To my surprise they were thrilled to be making some paper and wire Black -Necked Cranes on a Sunday! The workshop commenced with a talk on global warming and it's affects on wildlife in Ladakh and all over the world likewise. The focus of the workshop was the Black- necked cranes , which is the state bird of Ladakh. I proceeded to teach them how to build the cranes using paper and wire. After creating the cranes the girls showed great enthusiasm and wrote down their concerns regarding global warming and how it is changing the face of Ladakh. These messages were then recorded by me and compiled into a short video clip.
Here's a link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tahyrtoJL0Y
For the second workshop I headed to a Govt school in Thiksey. Children from all the classes participated in the workshop. The session began with a talk and was followed by the construction of Black-Necked cranes.
My third workshop was in a remote village called Satho ,near Chushul. When I and Rinchen (Media officer at LAMO) found our way into Satho which was difficult to locate , we were pleasantly greeted by a small wetland patch and many waders basking in the Sun. This was one of the better days because spotting so many birds together in one wetland has become a declining phenomena.
We crawled through the village and reached the Govt School in Satho. The children were very excited to participate in the workshop as no such activity had been undertaken before in the school. Very few people visit the school due to it's remote location and that explained their ecstatic demeanour.
The workshop began with a talk given by me on the declining numbers of birds in Ladakh and all over the world likewise. We also discussed various measures that can be taken to save the wildlife of Ladakh. When I asked the children to name the animals found in Ladakh , in addition to the Black-Necked Crane and the Snow Leopard they also confidently yelled Elephants and Tigers. For these children their knowledge was limited to the books they were reading and the teachings they were receiving from their teachers. This is what motivates me to reach out and educate children in Ladakh.
The talk was followed by the construction of Black-necked cranes. The most exciting part about this workshop was that the children had spent a lot of time observing the Cranes as , the wetland in Satho is one of the breeding spots for the Cranes. They knew how the crane looked, how it's eggs looked and the sound it made. This helped them to visualize better while constructing.
They created beautiful paper Black -necked cranes. The workshop culminated on a very optimistic note. The children were made aware of why animals and our environment is vital for their survival and why they should all live in harmony with their immediate surroundings.
Vast patches of nothingness and the barren landscape of Ladakh smells strongly of wisdom and immeasurable beauty . It puts you in a state of trance where you feel you are one with the surroundings and demands admiration and respect to protect and preserve the landscape and it's people . As outsiders in this foreign land we must all be aware of our responsibilities as tourists and not burden these young minds to seek solutions to problems they never contributed to. Save every bit you can , in the new world of Global warming and Climate change.