Romulus Whitaker has been awarded the Whitley Award for his work towards conservation of nature. He is in town for a press conference. Choose a student for the Hot Seat-to role play Whitaker. Divide the class into three groups; one group of students will be responsible for interviewing Whitaker. The second group will note down the interaction and the third group will issue a report for the class newsletter.
Classroom activity Class is to be divided into three groups. One student to role play Whitaker. One group of students to interview Whitaker. The second group will note down the interaction (at this press conference). The third group to issue a report for the class newsletter.
Student s of one group to put the following questions to 'Mr. Whitaker'.
1. Well, Mr. Whitaker, what precisely has may you a nature lover, say, an Environmentalist ?
2. Mr. Whitaker, what has been your current ambition. ?
3. What helped you set up the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station ?
4. What has been your best environmental documentary ?
5. What, Mr. Whitaker. made it possible for you to receive an Honourable Ment ion in the Rolex Awards for Enterprise and how did you use it ?
6. Mr. Whitaker, what major problem did you envisage regarding water shortage, pollution and climate change?
7. Please elaborate on the plan behind these Research Stat ions at Agurnbe.
8. Mr. Whitaker, how will your ambitions plan help in conserving the species inhabiting the rainforests?
9. How do you plan to cover the whole of the country through these Rainforests Research Stations?
Thank you, Mr. Whitaker.
II. Answers (hints etc,) along with interactions to be noted by the second group.
1. I would say that boundless enthusiasm for the wonders of nature and determination to save them has made me that . Actually the endless natural mysteries, wildlife and empathy and sympathy in the face of destruction have played a key role in my being so.
2. (With a smile) to create a network of rainforest research stations throughout India - since long - but didn't have the wherewithal- bought a block of land at Agurnbe in Southern India.
3. The Whitley Award for Nature (helped a lot).
4. I have authored eight books and over 150 articles. The best environmental documentary has been the National Geographic film 'King Cobra'.
5. I helped the lrula tribe people of Tamil Nadu to change over their traditional work of catching snakes to collecting snake venom to produce life-saving anti-venom serum. I spent the Whitley Award for Nature money in setting up these Research Stations.
6. I saw that forest clearance and some dams resulted in the drying up of rivers. Ground water tables are getting lower. Pollution and climate change may soon create a great water shortage problem Hence Rainforests Service Stations and their importance
7. It is to maintain Sita Nadi to evaluate the problems and involve the people in implementing the plan for augmenting water resources.
8. These stations will produce vital information over 100 new species of frogs, crabs etc. There will be an exchange of expertise and research, creation of biodiversity database and mobile educational programmes.
9. These stations are to be located in the Western Ghats ; one in the Assam and the next in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Thank You Mr. Whitaker.
Ill. A Report by the third group :
Whitaker, the Pioneer of Rainforests Research Stations and Conservationist of Green Nature- A Report
- by Praveen, Class XA, Spring Valley School, New Delhi
Romulus Earl Whitaker, a herpetologist, wildlife conservationist, founder of the Madras Snake Park. The Andaman and Nicobar Environment Trust. the Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Rainforests Research Stations, is a famous name known to all nature lovers. In a Press Conference held tomorrow in our school he declared his dedication to preserving green nature to fight against the climate change, global warming and shortage of water.
With the help of various Awards like Rolex Funds and Whitley Award for Nature he has established Rainforests Research Stations in Tamil Nadu, Assam and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands to restore the depleting water reserves. His first station at Agumbe was a turning point for the lrula tribe people. They turned from snake catchers to helpers and contributors in the production of life-saving anti-venom serum.
His Rainforests stations in Tamil Nadu are not only research stations but institutions to teach the students biodiversity and how to preserve green nature to be a life-sustaining agency In the press conference he told that these stations will produce vital information over 100 new species of frogs, crabs etc. These will also be an exchange of expertise and research creation of biodiversity database and mobile education programmes Actually the climate change, global warming, greenhouse effect etc, made this herpetologist into an Environmentalist for whom life is like a big river.
Mr. Whitaker sees a bright future for restoring depleting water through these stations. He also sees it for educating the future generations about the essentiality of green nature for human and wildlife.