Two hundred students from schools in Bangalore including 7 government schools get an opportunity to understand wildlife and conservation, its multiple facets first-hand through leading scientists of the city!

For the very first time…

A Nobel Laureate visited and interacted with our children! Professor Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan is an American and British structural biologist of Indian origin. He was elected President of the Royal Society in November 2015. In 2009 he shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Thomas A. Steitz and Ada Yonath, “for studies of the structure and function of the ribosome”. Sir Venky inaugurated this year’s Festival of Science 2019.

Here are some of the keynote speakers:

Dr. Ravi Chellam, Wildlife Biologist and Conservation Scientist, has been involved with wildlife research, education and conservation since the early 1980s: Talk on Asiatic lions and conservation

Dr. AJT Johnsingh, Scientist, Wildlife Institute of India: Talk about species diversity, interactions and conservation

Dr. Uma Ramakrishnan, an Indian molecular ecologist at the NCBS, TIFR, Bangalore: Talk on conserving tigers through understanding their genetics

Dr  Suhel Qader, Scientist, Education and Public Engagement: Talk about bird interactions in the wild

Nishant Srinivasaiah – Principal Investigator, Frontier Elephant Programme: Talk on elephant interactions in the wild and conservation

Dr. Ravi Ralph, Retired Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Wildlife and Chief Wildlife Warden, Karnataka – Talk about forests of Karnataka and conservation

Karthikeyan Srinivasan, Chief naturalist, Jungle Lodges and Resorts:  Talk about urban biodiversity.

Dr. Samira Agnihotri, Masters in wildlife biology, NCBS, has been studying the Greater Racket-tailed Drongos for 10 years: Talk on mimicry in birds and birdsong

Dr. Kulbhushansingh Suryawanshi, works towards wildlife conservation through robust applied scientific research informing management and policy: Talk on snow leopards and need to conserve alpine & high altitude regions.

Activities:

Pre-event:

Government school children were taken to the Bannerghatta National Park – to help them watch and understand species in the zoo – large and small enclosures, benefits of shade, natural and concrete floors, feeding habits, group living and socializing among other things.

Day 1 – Day 2

BioBlitz and Web of Life

Children were taken to MGIRED and GKVK campus on both days where they were made to look for creatures (on the ground, lower / upper storey, and canopy) and document their observations. The Web of Life activity was highly engaging and interactive in helping children understand how all species are dependent on each other for survival.

Recognising and honoring Dr. Salim Ali

Every year, at the Festival of Science, we recognise and celebrate an Indian scientist who has contributed immensely to science post-Independence. This year we celebrate the Birdman of India – Dr. Salim Ali – the first Indian to conduct systematic bird surveys across India.

In conversation: Dr. AJT Johnsingh and Shukla Bose introduce and talk about the Padma Vibhushan awardee Salim Ali.

The Hackathon

Purvanchal is a village by a wildlife sanctuary. The villagers have co-existed with wildlife for years. But now there is a new challenge – a corporate proposes to build a dam, the MLA promises electricity, jobs and development, the village chief and the activist voice their fears and the wildlife biologists talk about the endemic species that could be wiped out if the dam were built. What will the villagers (students) decide to do? Each group proposes its solutions at this year’s Hackathon.

The Indian Wildlife Congress

At the Indian Wildlife Congress, children representing different National Parks of India took to the stage to explain why they need funds for their Parks and their conservation ideas.

Sponsor

Thanks a ton to Synopsys India for supporting the festival and for being an ardent and continuous supporter of the Parikrma Humanity Foundation.

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