Urban iNaturewatch Challenge Valedictory function: The valedictory function for the Urban iNaturewatch Challenge was held on April 13, 2015 at the WWF-India Auditorium. Eight schools from the Delhi region participated in the function. Each of school was represented by five students and one teacher coordinator.
Dr. B.C. Sabat, Senior Scientific Officer, Department of Environment, Government of Delhi and Ms. Shailey Tuker , Alumini Affair coordinator from the Embassy of United States of America were the esteemed chief guests for the function.
They all motivated and appreciated the students for their contribution towards the project. Dr. B.C. Sabat encouraged the audience to work towards their society and uplift species awareness among the students from the urban societies. Ms. Shailey Tucker and Dr. Swayamprabha Das inspired the students to step out and cherish the natural beauty around them.
Dr.V.Shubhalaxmi, the Founder & Director of the Ladybird Environmental Consulting, acknowledged all the students present along with their teachers for their valuable contribution towards the challenge. She accredited the students for taking out time and helping in the development of the database for the project. She was pleased to see the students appreciating the apps and their effort to bring the students nearer to their environment and experience the natural pleasures.
The students not only presented their data that had been uploaded on the apps or the website but also shared their experiences during the project. They all accepted the fact that earlier they were not paying much attention to the environmental issues and the species around them but now, along with
appreciating the nature, they also pledged to broaden their knowledge and continue to upload data in the apps by motivating their peers as well. They all felt that the challenge was a great way for the techno-savvy generation to look beyond their gadgets and move closer to nature. They were surprised to find the biodiversity surrounding them and were curious to explore more.
The day ended with the prize distribution ceremony. Dr. V. Shubhalaxmi presented the appreciation certificates to all the participating students and the supervising teachers along with two WWF India posters and a book on Writing Outdoors. Ms. Saba Qadri from Springdales School, Dhaula Kuan was given a special certificate and WWF-India goodies for her outstanding performance in data collection.
Three schools were presented with the first, second and third prize. Springdale School, Dhaula Kuan attained the first position followed by Bluebells International at Second and ASN Sr. Sec. School at third position. The schools were thrilled by their victory and promised to work harder towards biodiversity
The program concluded with a vote of thanks and lunch at WWF-India. The Urban iNaturewatch challenge impelled the students to connect, share, question, learn and re-invent the future through the three apps – iBirds, iTrees and iButterflies.
Report by Ms. Anushri Sharma, Senior Programme Officer, WWF-India, New Delhi