Tales of Royal Bengal tigers and their natural habitat had schoolchildren gathered at Victoria Memorial Hall on July 29, International Tiger Day, listening in awe.
The specially curated session was organised by the Victoria Memorial Hall.
“Our country is home to most of the world's tiger population. It’s really wonderful that the tiger population in India is on the rise. The celebration is quite special this year because we’re organising, as part of a larger project in collaboration with the Natural History Museum, Young Minds for a Compassionate World — a programme that promotes ethical nature photography among young people,’’ said Jayanta Sengupta, curator, Victoria Memorial Hall, after opening the session.
The day held in store a variety of activities that kicked off with an invocation to Bonbibi, followed by a discussion by author Anjana Basu on her book Grandfather’s Tiger Tales, a talk on climate conservation and the importance of tigers by Rishin Basu Roy and a recitation of Bonbibir Pala by Sucharita Bandyopadhyay.
A special screening of the movie Guardians of the Sunderbans by Sashidhar Vempala and a short quiz contest were also organised as part of the event.
Highlighting the importance of the day, Rishin Basu Roy said, “At least seven to eight rivers are protected because tigers live in their vicinity. There are 18 critically endangered bird species that have their homes safe because those fall inside the Project Tiger Area.”
(L-R) Rishin Basu Roy, Anjana Basu, Sucharita BandyopadhyayAmit Datta/ My Kolkata
Students from Calcutta Public School Bidhan Park, Calcutta Emmanuel School, Apeejay School, Indus Valley World School and Delhi Public School Ruby Park took part in the interactive session.
“I learned a lot of new things today. I didn’t know anything about hermit crabs and how people lead their lives in the Sunderbans. I also got to know how national calamities affect the place. But above all, I learnt more about tigers," said Abhinav Bose, a Class VIII student at Indus Valley World School.
Emphasising the educational aspect of the session, Ritwika Chakraborty, a student of Class VIII at Calcutta Public School Bidhan Park, said the experience would help her connect with nature. “When nature speaks, we listen. Now that we’re facing climate change threats, I think such sessions are really needed.’’