Thursday, March 22, 2012

Indian Forests: Green trails in India...

The history of exploitation and destruction of forests in India goes back to several decades, when the forests wealth were consumed for commercial gains. The trend continued even now and the forests were used not for imperative economic growth but for other various reasons. The denudation of forest land, however, had now slowed down in recent years despite human and commercial pressures due to efforts made by various agencies and conservation approaches. The Himalayan region is the most threatened area in India. The growing population, one of the main factor for deforestation, increases the need of land for more food production to feed the growing number of people causing environmental degradation.

Indian forests are the second largest land used in India after agriculture. These forests in India are blessed with the rich flora and fauna. To conserve this natural treasure of plants and animals several wildlife sanctuaries and national parks have been activate.

These evergreen and tropical green Indian forests are the paradise for nature and adventure lovers. In these Indian forest you may find total 45,000 species of flora and 81,000 of fauna species. Besides 95 national parks, 500 wildlife sanctuaries along with two conservation reserves offer the best opportunity for green forest trails in India.

Increase forest cover in the country. This is one of the eight missions under India's National Action Plan on Climate Change.The objective of this Mission is not only to increase the quantity but also the quality of over 10 million hectares of forest area. It aims to double the afforestation. The increased forest cover will act as a carbon sink to absorb an additional 43 million tonnes of green house gases every year. This will go a long way in addressing the impact of climate change. The Mission is not just limited to increasing plantations, but also focuses on restoring diverse ecosystems.

Deforestation for different purposes, poaching and illegal cutting of trees are the major cause of declining forest cover. Not only it is effecting the climate change, the deforestation has snatched the living of wildlife. Many cases of Panther and other wildlife wandering into human habitat have come to light during past years.

The ecosystem of the forests is depleting very fast. With food chain broken, the wildlife comes to Human Habitations in search of food. It has become a vicious circle. The climate change is causing depletion of forest resources and depletion of forest resources is causing climate change. With human habitation coming closer to the forests due to population pressure, they are becoming easy prey to wild animals.

Some tribes like "Van-Tangia" in eastern Uttar Pradesh live in the forest and earn their living from selling the by-products of forest like leaves, bark and dry grass. It is noteworthy that they never cut a tree for fuel wood or otherwise rather they strive for saving trees as they pray the trees like God. If promoted, they can become savior of forest and help in social forestry program. Vast range of natural forest occupies the Himalayan foothills of Uttar Pradesh. These need to be protected if one needs to slow down the effects of Climate change. Mass public awareness is needed to increase the forest cover and to save wildlife.

Indian forest provides a chance to explore the rich and rare varieties of several plants, and wildlife in India...
Therefore we say... Forests are the first temple of the Divinity...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Natural Food: The real Food..

I remember being very picky with food when I was little. There were many things that I really didn't want to eat, may it be because of it's taste, texture, smell or even just by its color. Color, texture and smell affect food's taste.

Color is an important constituent of food. When we think of an apple or grape our mind associate them with the Red or Green color. Addition of color gives an attractive and appetizing appearance to food which also enhance its acceptability.

A few decade before people use natural ingredients like saffron or turmeric to give a rich orange or yellow color to various food like in rice or in curry. Other natural food such as carrots, grapes, spinach, tomatoes, beetroot were also use as coloring agents.

With the advancement of food technology we now have a wide range of artificial food colors as additives. Now one can make a more Greener Palak Paneer or Bright red Manchurian.

Food coloring use in commercial food production, like in Juices or drinks, ice-creams, candies, cakes etc. and people even use it in herbs or vegetables. as you know much red carrot, much green spinach, much yellow mustard seeds..

So what are the advantage or disadvantage of these colors.. the main and only advantage of the food color is to make the food look more appetizing; and when natural colors like turmeric are used, there are some health benefits too.

The disadvantage may vary for the colors causing simple allergies to some heavy metallic color that can be carcinogenic or cancer-causing too. More often the quantity of colors increased in excessive amounts to give the food a nice color. Some of the artificial colors can even destroy  the nutrients in the food because of the chemical composition.

Usage of food color is not bad, but right use of right color in right amount is most important.

People Go Natural!!  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wish all of you a very Happy and colorful Holi....

The Festival of Holi heralds the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It is Celebrated on Purnima, the full moon day. The occasion starts with bonfires lit at night and move's to the next day when everyone play HOLI with coloured powder (Gulal) and water...

Holi marks the advent of spring in India and people joyously celebrate it with a splash of colour, just like the nature blooms with colourful yellow, blue and red blossoms and green leaves. As the legends tell, Holi is an occasion for the celebration of firstly the burning of kama "the Hindu equivalent of Cupid" with the fire emanated from the third eye of Lord Shiva; secondly, the burning of demoness Holika and protection of her Nephew "Prahlad" whom she wanted to burn; and thirdly, the burning of Putana's effigy by Yadava tribes of Mathura (Putana wanted to kill the child Lord Krishna).

The emphasis of Holi rituals is on the burning of the demoness Holika, on the eve of Holi, large bornfires are lit to mark the occasion and to burn evil spirits. The Spring festival of India, Holi is celevrated on Purnima (full moon day) of month Phalgun, according to the Hindu calendar. It is meant to welcome the spring and win the blessings of Gods for good harvests and fertility of the land.

Holi in India is a festival of fun and frolic and has been associated with the immortal love of Krishna and Radha. On the next day, people spend the whole day throwing colored powder and water at each other.

Tradition of celebrating Holi alive everywhere in the world; we play with colors, sing Holi bhajans and folk songs, exchange gifts and sweets and greet each other. The evenings are spent in meeting friends and acquaintance living in different parts of the city or town. Holi fair and processions are also organised on this occasion. Thandai and Gujiya's are the traditional sweets for the day.

The special puja (worship) are performed in temples; The festival really breaths an atmosphere of social merriment and knows no bars and boundaries. People burry hatchets with a warm embrace. Men, women; old and young alike are covered with colours. Everyone gets involved at this occasion in one single activity singing, dancing and smearing colours on each other’s face.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

In Nature's Lap - Lucknow Zoo

The Zoo is located in the heart of the Capital city of Utthar Pradesh. It is being managed as a trust, by the group of authorities. It is a large zoo and the total area is 71.6 acres (or so). It has veterinarians who look after the health. The diet is properly checked and sterilized and supplemented with vitamins from time to time.

Lucknow Zoo was found in 1921 with the name "Prince of Walse Zoo". The Zoo has about 430 mammals, 216 birds, 40 reptiles and a total of 97 different species of wild animals.

Some prime possessions are the Royal Bengal Tiger, Wolf, Hoolock Gibbon, Himalyan Black Bear, Indian Rhinoceros, Black buck, Swamp Deer, Barking Deer, Hog Deer, Asiatic Elephant, Giraffe, Zebra, Common Otters, Hill Mynahs, Giant Squirrels, Great Pied Hornbill, Golden Pheasant, Silver Pheasant etc.

The Zoo is successfully breeding many species. Lucknow zoo takes up breeding of famed white tigers.

In addition one can see Aquarium, Crocodile Sections and other beautiful European Sculptures. For snakes, water and cold-drinks you can visit a restaurant near Museum however it is little costly. Other facilities are also available.

The zoo has a newly constructed Nature Interpretation Center where "Touch Table Programmers" are held every Friday for school children. Here, they are given hands-on experience and information about the skins of various animals, eggs of birds/pheasants, tusk of elephant and plaster cast of Tiger pug marks. They also show one wildlife movie to encourage people about wildlife.

Entry fee is Rs. 20 and Rs 25/- on holidays. Fish house and Museum cost extra ticket (Rs 5/-).