Port Blair, July 19: As a part of the nationwide programme on Mera Gaon Mera Gaurav, an awareness programme on the importance of native underutilized species of Andaman and Nicobar islands was conducted at GSSS, Bambooflat on July 16. It is known that our islands are rich in native diversity of flora with a high degree of endemism. In order to conserve this prestigious diversity, conscious efforts are required especially by involving the local youth. With this objective, a team of scientists from ICAR-CIARI, Port Blair comprising of Dr Ajit Waman, Dr T. Subramani, Dr V. Joshitha and Ms P. Sreepriya conducted the awareness programme with the support of Smt. Shobha Roy, Principal, Shri. Madhav Rao and Shri Reddy, teachers of GSSS, Bambooflat.
During the programme, Dr Ajit sensitized the students about the diversity of native underutilized species, their ethnobotanical importance and conservation strategies. He also explained about the efforts undertaken by ICAR-CIARI in the conservation of the flora of agri-horticultural importance. To facilitate conservation, saplings of native tree species of nutritional and medicinal importance were planted in the school premise by involving students and teachers. Smt. Roy appreciated this initiative and opined that such a programme would educate the young generations about the importance of native resources of our islands. In the end, teachers and students assured that they will make all possible efforts to conserve the planted species. This programme was conducted under the leadership of Dr D. Bhattacharya, Principal Scientist and guidance of Dr B. Gangaiah, I/c Director, ICAR-CIARI, Port Blair.