Vrindavan, 2017.05.26 (Jackie Edwards): There are so many natural wonders on this planet, that getting children invested in them or curious to learn more should never be a difficult task. The best way to inspire children to be respectful towards the environment and the wildlife it contains is to show them just how beautiful and precious both are.
Luckily, the small town of Vrindavan, India, is a perfect place due to its beautiful sites and attractions, as well as its nearby and easily accessible facilities and centers. When trying to engage children – whether solo or in a group – to learn more about the world they live in, consider these beautiful locations, educational centers, and philanthropic activities as a start:
The Yamuna or Jamuna River crosses several states and towns, including Vrindavan, and over 55 million people are dependent on the water of this river. Considering the fact that it is one of the most heavily polluted rivers in the world, it is an important educational point to teach children about the importance of conserving our natural resources. By explaining the history of the river, they can then understand the significance of The National Green Tribunal’s important recommendation to the government to keep a 52km stretch of the river (in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh) as a conservation zone. You can organize conservational games or fun quizzes (with prizes) for the children after the excursion to keep them inspired to retain the knowledge they learned.
Animals are an integral component of the environment, and it is a good idea to teach children about local wildlife early on, as well as the dangers they face such as hunting, poaching, captivity and more. Close to Vrindavan, in the city of Mathura, you can visit the Elephant Conservation and Care Center, created in 2010 as a project of Wildlife SOS, that aims to rehabilitate severely abused captive elephants in distress. The center currently has 20 elephants, and mimics the natural habitat of the animals, making it a great place to learn more about these magnificent beings.
Also in Uttar Pradesh, on the banks of the Yamuna River, is Wildlife SOS’ Agra Bear Rescue Facility. Open seven days a week, the facility is home to an Education Conservation Walkway, and visitors can meet some of the bears and learn more about the organization’s conservation efforts in the country. Private tours are also available upon request, making it a perfect spot for smaller groups.
Planting trees is one of the simplest ways to educate children from an early age about the environment, as well as the importance every aspect of it holds. There is something incredibly selfless about planting trees, and it can be a fantastic educational activity for a large group. Friends of Vrindavan regularly organize tree plantings, anywhere from roadsides to temple grounds. You can get in touch with the organization to see their upcoming tree planting schedule.
With so many beautiful areas in and around Vrindavan, you can easily make learning about the environment and wildlife for children educational, engaging and fun.
Jackie Edwards is an editor, researcher and writer. She and her husband are also keen environmentalists. They love to spend their free time working in their local area, helping with everything from recycling and litter picking to wildlife conservation. Jackie uses her talents as a writer to encourage parents to get their children involved as early as possible with anything to do with ecology and the environment.
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