Nature lovers team up to save Talave wetland in Navi Mumbai
Environmentalists have been fighting against the state government’s proposal to turn a major chunk of Talave wetland to residential complex and golf course.
They have, on previous occasions, come together and launched WhatsApp groups, online petitions, and social media campaigns.
Despite these initiatives, the government has not turned down the proposal.
Activists have appealed to residents and nature lovers to visit the wetland frequently in groups, so that more and more people are made aware of the campaign to save the wetland. On Saturday morning, nature lovers and students organised mangrove walk to the wetland, to generate awareness about the flora and fauna found there.
Located behind the NRI complex in Nerul, the Talave wetland is a treasure house for bird lovers. Armed with binoculars and cameras, most people frequent the wetland to catch the winged beauties, and get a much needed break from their monotonous lives.
iNature foundation has been fighting for the cause vehemently since a while.
Isaac Kehimkar, director iNature foundation, said, “We regularly conduct mangrove walks for students as well as residents, in order to make them aware about the benefits of the mangroves and the need to save them for our survival. During the mangrove walk, we tell them about the place and the different types of bird and plants found here.”
Kehimkar said that people would join the cause only if they feel connected to the place.
“Once people get attached to this place, they would feel the need to save it. The awareness walk is arranged often, so that we can reach out to more number of people. Once we are vocal about the area and its environmental benefits, we can compel the authorities to respond. This way, I am sure we would be able to protect this wetland,” he said.
Sunil Agarwal, 55, is a resident of NRI complex, who has been fighting to save mangroves for the past three years.
Agarwal said, “Regular visits are necessary to generate awareness about this campaign which we have initiated. When more and more people know about the natural treasure located here, they would come in huge numbers to support the cause.”
Bird lovers who make frequent trips to the wetland have made a checklist of birds that are found in the area. They said that if the wetland is lost to urbanisation, the bird species would also reduce.
Sujeet Mahatre, 35, a bird watcher and photographer, said, “I am a regular at Talave wetland, situated behind TS Chanakya. I go often to capture the winged beauties and many a times, get the opportunity to click different birds, including flamingos. I visit the area in small group, which ensures that the place is peaceful.”
Naresh Chandra, 48, a Kharghar resident who visited the wetland with his son, said “It is an amazing experience to see the nature so closely in the morning. The experience was very refreshing because of such a beautiful sight. My son and I were completely engrossed in the surroundings and would definitely go for such walks more often.”
More than five to six schools, including Sacred Heart, Vishwajot, IES and Euro School, have participated in the mangrove walk, and the students took a pledge to save the wetland.