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Vadodara NUV students of Journalism get a close look at nature around as future communicators

The aim is to make the young communicators understand the nature and their responsibilities which are immense in the days to come.

Vadodara NUV students of Journalism get a close look at nature around as future communicators
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Experts from different environmental streams guided the students of Journalism and Mass Communication students of Navrachana University Vadodara in a three-hour-long field trip to Vishwamitri river. The aim is to make the young communicators understand the nature and their responsibilities which are immense in the days to come.

After close to two years confined education, a group of students from the Journalism and Mass Communication Program had a close look at the environmental issues during their field visit to the Vishwamitri river. The students arranged the field trip to Vishwamitri River, in an attempt to bring awareness and take action on environment-related issues.

Renowned birder Avi Sabavala while showing the wetland, terrestrial birds and explaining its behaviour said, "The future journalists or in other words the future communicators have the power to shape public opinion and to take the message of preserving the environment forward. If the environmental issues are understood in depth, they can create the public opinion." She added, "By 2030, we must achieve 17 sustainable goals, and we have just nine years to do it. Humans have always been in conflict with nature and are often trapped in fight or flight situations."

Another expert, Suvarna Sonavane, a botanist and an entomologist, talked about how insects play an important role in an ecosystem. "For the sake of development, clearing forests and destroying nature are not acceptable. That's why their natural abode should be kept intact. A gradual process of development has led to an increase in endangered species," she said.

Dr. Jitendra Gavali, Botanist and Director of Community Science Centre connected the concept of nature with our culture. He said, "Floods are natural phenomena as they help in the seed dispersal and the vegetation spreads out to the other places. However, what is happening with River Vishwamitri is gross mishandling of nature. The basic concepts of environment are forgotten and that is why grave mistakes like clearing the natural vegetation are deliberately made. In such situations, if the communication experts are well equipped with right knowledge, it would help to a great extent to let the masses know the reality."

Crocodile activist Vishal Thakur commented, "The increasing development by humans is halting the loss of biodiversity and the rich ecosystem. Humans have taken control over animal habitats, which force them to come into human residence. A whatsapp message was circulated during monsoon saying 'come to Vadodara for crocodile tourism' though it sounds funny but in reality, we should be ashamed that we are snatching away their natural habitat and disturbing them indiscriminately."

He also cited the stated laws, like no construction should take place within 300 meters of the river but the rules are not followed. He also shared his in-depth knowledge about crocodiles, their breeding pattern, and how they contribute to the ecosystem. Most importantly, he mentioned that the number of crocodiles has decreased within the years.

The themes like water management, waste management, and pollution were taken into consideration. The students critically analyzed and observed the beauty of nature. The observations will be converted into small documentaries that will call attention to the ongoing environmental issues.

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