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Science express floors kids

June 25: The Science Express Biodiversity Special is here and children thronged the Kamakhya railway station to catch a glimpse of the majestic bio-diversity of India.

Be it the splendour of the Himalayas or the beauty of the Gangetic plains, the green Northeast or the vast desert, the spellbinding Western Ghats or the rocky Deccan Peninsula or the vast windy coastal regions and islands, the Science Express presents the peculiarities of all these different regions through a kaleidoscopic journey.

“Oh! The hyena seems so real and so does the viper! Look at that cat lying on the branch of a tree,” exclaimed 10-year-old Raju, carefully examining the life-size exhibits of different species of animals inside the Express. He had come with his friends to enjoy and learn new things on board the express today.

“Can we really save the world?” wondered another little one, rolling his eyes when a science communicator explained to him how he could save the environment by saving water and planting trees.

Mounted on a customised 16-coach air-conditioned train, the Science Express Biodiversity Special is the longest mobile science exhibition. A joint initiative of the Union ministry of environment and forests and the department of science and technology, the express has set out on an education journey, touring 52 locations across the country to create awareness on biodiversity and climate change. After halting at various locations, the express arrived at Kamakhya railway station on June 23 and will leave platform number 4 of the station on June 27.

Students of the Hindustani Kendriya Vidyalaya also performed a one-act play on environment at the venue of the exhibition today.

“The main purpose of this science express is to motivate the masses, especially the youngsters, to do their bit in contributing to the conservation of the rich bio-diversity of the country. We have been touring the length and breadth of the country since May 27 and reaching out to the masses to promote science and how it can be used efficiently to save non-renewable sources of energy,” said Ebin Abraham, one of the science communicators on the express.

“While eight coaches of the express comprise of exhibits on different geographical regions of the country and their bio-diversity, livelihood of inhabitants, bio-culture, endangered species of flora and fauna and threats faced by them along with conservation measures, two more coaches are primarily dedicated to climate change. There is also a science laboratory where students can perform different experiments and activities to get a better understanding about various aspects of the topics dealt with in the exhibition,” said Abraham.

On the other hand, resource persons are also training schoolteachers on environment and biodiversity on the Express.

“The wonderful thing is that children are taking a keen interest in the various things on display here. We are trying to make them realise that they are the future of tomorrow and can do a lot in saving the world by making a few changes in their lifestyle,” said R. Sebastian, another science communicator.