Jammu: The Department of Wildlife Protection organised Surinsar Bird Festival to commemorate the birthday of Birdman of India “Dr. Salim Ali”.
As many as 500 students from various schools, colleges and universities of Jammu region participated in different events of the bird festival.
The prominent among participating educational institutions were Central University of Jammu, University of Jammu, Women College Parade, MAM College, GGM Science College, Women College Gandhi Nagar, Government Higher Secondary School Surinsar and Learning Temple High School, Kathua.
Joginder Singh, member of District Development Council from the area along with Bodh Raj sarpanch, Surinsar, and other PRI members also attended various programmes of the day-long festival.
The highlights of the festival were bird walks in which participants traveled along various nature trails in the adjoining forest area to watch the birds and their habitats under the guidance of expert bird watchers from JK Birdlife (an amateur bird watching group).
It was followed by a lake walk in which participants walked around Surinsar Lake and were enlightened by the expert participants about water birds, migratory birds, lake ecosystem, littoral zone restoration of Surinsar lake and turtle diversity in Surinsar lake.
The prominent experts who participated and guided during the various events of the programme were Prof. Parmil Kumar, Dr. Vinita, Dr. Deepika Salathia, Dr. Neeraj Sharma, Dr. Anuradha Gupta, Dr. Vipin,Dr. Sudesh Kumar, Dr. Ankita Sharma, Dr. Kaushikaand Dr. Chinmayi Maharana.
O.P. Sharma Vidyarthi, noted tree talk crusader, talked about important tree species and their ecological importance. Participants also paid floral tributes to the Birdman of India – Dr. Salim Ali and highlighted his contributions in the research and conservation of birds in India.
On spot painting competition was also organized in which students from Class – I upto university students participated. Paintings were made by the students on three themes i.e; “Birds – Flying Wonders”, “Backyard Birds” and “Birds across different landscapes”. Team of experts evaluated the onspot paintings in four categories – primary (upto Class – V), sub-junior (Class – VI to IX), junior (Class – X to XII) and senior (above Class XII). Best three paintings in each category were given trophies and certificates. Besides, consolation prizes were given to the participants who narrowly missed the 3rd prize.
A photographic exhibition on birds of Jammu & Kashmir with special reference to the birds of Surinsar – Mansar Wildlife Sanctuary was inaugurated by Suresh Kumar Gupta, Principal Chief Conservation of Forests (Wildlife)/Chief Wildlife Warden, Jammu & Kashmir. Wonderful photographs of beautiful birds taken by various expert bird photographers were displayed in the exhibition.
Prominent bird photographers whose contributions were displayed were Guldev Raj, Prof. Parmil Kumar, Yatin Gupta, Parvaiz Shagoo, Sachin Kumar Bhagat, Adv. Vishal Kapoor, Adv. Shvait Khajuria, Hemant Kumar, Nazim Ali Manhas, Rajat Kumar, Dileep Koul, Ajay Kumar, Pankaj Chiber and Dr. Neeraj Sharma.
Students and local cultural groups also presented a colorful cultural programme during the festival. Students displayed their talents through songs, dances, mime, poetry recitation etc. Cultural programme touched upon various aspects of nature and wildlife conservation. During the festival, various movies on wildlife and birds were also screened. The Department of Wildlife Protection had also set up stalls of souvenir and publicity material. Brochures, pamphlets etc. publicity material was distributed among participants for awareness about wildlife conservation.