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City students’ ‘Save Temple Turtles’ move wins tiol award

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  9 Dec 2016 12:00 AM GMT


GUWAHATI, Dec 8: Efforts of city based NPS Intertiol School to create awareness among the masses to save turtles living in various ponds in Assam temples have earned laurels to the region as the move has won Design For Change (DFC)-Top 100 Stories Award in the DFC ‘I Can’ School Challenge 2016 in Ahmedabad on Thursday.

As a part of their initiative to “Save Turtle in Assam Temple Ponds”, a group of 20 students from the school visited various temple ponds in Guwahati and its adjoining areas, including Jor Pukhuri of Ugratara Temple, Kamakhya Temple, Hoigrib Madhab Temple at Hajo and many more.

During their visit to the temple ponds, NPS students collected plastic packets, bottles, unhygienic materials other garbage etc, and dumped it in the nearby dustbins. Apart from cleaning the water level of the ponds and putting wooden platforms for the turtles to take rest, students also placed dustbins around the ponds and distributed leaflets among the local people to create awareness for preservation of turtles. The NPS students also put up posters and banners around the ponds to create awareness among the masses in this regard.

Students with active support from experts and the local populace also addressed community meetings to create awareness among the masses about the preservation of turtles.

Of the 29 species of freshwater turtles identified in India, 20 are found in Assam, and temple ponds in the State are known to house a dozen species. Even the extremely rare black soft-shelled turtle – categorized as extinct in wild by Intertiol Union for Conservation of ture (IUCN) – finds a secure home in a few temple-ponds of Assam. However, there is an urgent need to adopt scientific measures for ensuring long-term survival of the turtles in these habitats.

Smallest initiatives like raising awareness about this animal trade, avoiding the buying of turtles as pets and discouraging others from doing so can make a difference in its preservation. Design for Change (DFC), India hosted the “I CAN” Awards where 100 most inspiring stories of changes were honoured. The NPS DFC Team- Save Turtles maged to be on the list again out of 3,610 videos shortlisted tionwide in the year 2016. Last year also the school won the award.

Arju Awardee and London Olympics Medalist Gagan rrang in presence of theatre artist and classical dancer Sanja Kapoor, DFC Brand Ambassador Rahul Bose and for Billiard World Champion Geet Sethi handed over the award to NPS Intertiol School, only representative from the North-east. Representatives from over 100 schools of the country attended the meeting.

DFC is a programme which encourages and celebrates children who adopt socio-economic development programmes to bring a change in the society.

Mayuri Sarma, team leader of NPS Intertiol School, has congratulated everyone involved with the project. “We have taken this initiative as a mission and will continue to do so in future as well,” she added.

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