Given the burgeoning human population in India in particular and world in general, many decisions taken in the ‘interest of society’, invariably spell doom to the natural wealth of the land, with green-cover rapidly cleared to make room for an ever expanding human society. This is destined to backfire, for the very foundation of healthy life is based, among other things, on a clean environment, abundant rainfall, fertile soil and pure water. It is therefore the need-of-the-hour, even in the interest of human society, to generate a greater respect for nature and to check over-exploitation of natural resources. More important, however, is for us to recognize the right for all life forms to exist independent of human whims and fancies, a right that is rarely ever acknowledged. Fruition of each of these goals is a long way off, but every step taken with this intention is a step taken in the right direction.
BCRT attempts, in its own modest way, to correct for this appalling imbalance and change the way we view nature. Conservation practices are adopted both actively and passively. Based primarily in Anuganalu, a village in Karnataka, India (at the foot of the verdant Western Ghats), BCRT has established a nursery that grows local and forest plant species. Being native to the region, local flora require little or no attention but benefit the farmer immensely by enriching soil fertility, recharging ground water and preventing soil erosion. BCRT encourages farmers to grow these in addition to their own crops, and has already distributed hundreds of thousands of saplings to farmers. A vast, deep pond, silted over the years, is being de-silted for creating a lake that would not only enhance the local bio-diversity by supporting local flora and fauna, particularly as a bird-habitat, but would also benefit the denizens of the village by recharging ground water. Human activities were minimized around a barren stretch of rocky land, about 15 acres, which belongs to Anuganalu. The result was evident within three years when a slow regeneration of the forest that once, not so long ago, stretched up to the village was noticed. This area is now completely green thanks to additional efforts from BCRT to afforest it.
Medicinal plants are grown here in order to preserve indigenous knowledge in medicine. BCRT conducts workshops to sensitize villagers to the importance of natural wealth and the direct influence it has on the quality of their lives. Organic farming, soil and water conservation methods have been implemented in and around Anuganalu. BCRT also works with central and state government institutions like Karnataka Biodiversity Board, Forest Department, Jalanayana and Department of Agriculture. It is currently working to protect bio-diversity in a hill close to the village by establishing a wildlife sanctuary.
The ultimate objective of BCRT, in addition to conservation and documentation, is to support and conduct research in plant biology particularly by involving farmers right from the beginning. This involvement of end-users (farmers) serves as a tool to preserve and protect the indigenous vegetation.
The activities of BCRT have proved to be nothing short of inspirational to the people whose lives it has touched. Several have returned with the intention of establishing a similar system in their own villages. The government and the forest department have always backed its activities as BCRT looks forward to a steady growth in this goodwill and camaraderie.
While you are here, we would urge you to read the history behind our organization and browse through the projects we have handled over the last five years of our existence. We welcome your feedback and look forward to your participation!