New Direction – New Aspirations #KheerWrites

Sometimes life indeed has a strange way of showing us the path we are trying to find for so long. In many instances we almost give up by losing hope. The incident I am about to describe is something similar. Well…where do I start? It’s a long story but I will try to keep it short!

I was in Bhubaneswar last month, one of my teeny-weeny adventures I must say. Well, May not be anything compared to a passionate traveler, but it was a thrilling experience for me. As I belong from an orthodox Indian family, travelling around (without family) is not mundane. I made a resolution last year that, no matter what I’m going to explore new places. So, after a lot of persuading and of course arguments, my sibling and I could convince our parents to let us go.

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In Bhubaneswar (The city of Temples), we met Sanjeet Kumar, Who came to our aid and helped us in many ways. I came to know a lot about nature from him. He has profound knowledge of nature, wildlife, flora and fauna. It was among one of our common discussions, he mentioned about nature conservation and how he loves to play an active part in the conserving nature and also mentioned that he along with his friend Sumant Rajguru (Who is also very passionate about nature and is a nature lover like him), frequently visit river Mahanadi to witness its beauty and enjoy the surreal views of sunrise and sunset across the river.

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It was on one such occasion last year, when they were on Field work, exploring and studying Flora they came across a beautiful bird named “Indian skimmer”. At first, I didn’t realize its importance, but, when I saw the excitement and also a genuine concern when Sanjeet was describing this beautiful Bird, it fixated in my thoughts that, I need to know more about “Indian skimmer”.

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I searched about it as I was not aware of that bird. And to my surprise! I came across a shocking fact after reading many articles on this species and it is only then, I could understand why Sanjeet sounded very concerned about “Indian skimmer”!

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“Indian skimmer” or “Indian scissors-bill” (Rynchops Albicollis) is among one of the three species (others being Black skimmer & African skimmer) of skimmer family. One of the skills of this species is to pick its prey from the surface of the water. “Indian skimmer” is now spotted mainly in India and Pakistan. It’s alarming that the population of “Indian skimmer” decreased over the years and currently it’s classed as “vulnerable” by IUCN (International union for conservation of nature).

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It’s sad that the population of “Indian skimmer” is threatened and vulnerable because of habitat loss, pollution and mainly because of the disturbances created by humans. Even today many of the colonies of “Indian skimmer” are unprotected.

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These facts sparked many thoughts in me. Since my childhood I was very much attached to nature and I feel sad and concerned when our mother nature is put through such destruction. But, now I see a path in front of me, a new direction clear as crystal and I actively work for nature conservation. Our trip to Bhubaneswar was enlightening in many ways, as not only I found ways and resources to actively participate in nature and wildlife conservation but also bundled up wonderful memories with my new friends Sanjeet, Adyasa and Ajit. As quoted by my friend “It’s just a prelude!” There are many more hurdles to cross!

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