Hatpukur Nature Lovers (Volunteer Team for Conservation of Forest)
by Animesh Chatterjee
(Howrah, West Bengal, India)
THE STORY OF “HATPUKUR NATURE LOVERS” - About thirty years ago, in our younger days, we were frequent travelers in the virgin forests situated at the remotest parts of India.
To avoid the madding crowd we took shelter on the lap of mother earth. The solitude of green forest, murmur of trees, whispering of birds & the sound of brooks were the main attraction to us. But for our livelihood we have to return to our city after few days’ vacation.
During our forest trekking we saw the deforestation destroying a large area of forest. So we felt that we should do something against the deforestation. Because if it continues ecological balance will collapse very soon.
From this thought we, fifteen young boys aged 25-28 years, formed an organization at Saranda forest in 1981. Our aim was to make people aware of the effect of deforestation caused by encroaching on the forest, and cutting of trees.
As we were nature loving people & our motto was to save the nature we decided to name our organization as nature lovers & to identify our location we added hatpukur, a small neighborhood of Howrah. So we registered our organization as “Hatpukur Nature Lovers”.
After the formation of the organization we visited many forests. We began to interact with local people & taught them the utility of conservation through songs, theatrical performance & other mediums also.
In this process, we didn't confine ourselves to issues like conservation of forests. We took on subjects like industrial pollution also.
We have been successful in creating a massive awareness among the people about the utility of sapling of trees, and the need to install pollution control devices, and proper sewerage of toxic materials in the industrial area.
Some of our members left us, some are unable to work and some have died, but still our organization is running in full swing.
We have been able to propagate our ideal to the younger generation. We have more than one hundred active members. Due to our old age, we cannot actively participate in the organizational work but we, the founder members, meet once every month & act as the guide of the present workers.
It is our hope that the present generation will be even more successful & hold high the banner of “Hatpukur Nature Lovers” by their dedication.