Friday, January 21, 2011

Call for Volunteers: Minimising Pollution at Dabaguli Jatre

Dabaguli is a picturesque place on the banks of the Cauvery in the Urigam forest range of the Hosur forest division. An antipoaching camp of Tamilnadu forest department and a small shack housing a fisherman family are the only human presence for most part of the year. A small Nandi temple is the only relic from times long ago when Dabguli hosted a cattle patti (kraal).

This sleepy little temple sees a thin stream of visitors throughout the year. However a huge crowd of about ten thousand people descend on this idyllic spot from surrounding villages in Tamilnadu and Karnataka for the annual Dabguli Jatre (festival) around the time of Shivrathri. This grand overnight event has various poojas, dramas, Harikathe etc.
This is a cause for concern as these environs are home to the highly endangered Grizzled Giant squirrel and a host of other wildlife including chital, sambhar, elephants, leopard, wilddogs and sloth bears. Theplastic litter left behind by this crowd is not only an eyesore but also a big environmental threat.

This year, the festival is marked to fall on the 5th and 6th of February, 2011. Kenneth Anderson Nature Society (KANS) has been interacting with the organising committee of the Jatre to contain the environmental impact. The villager folk and the organising committee sincerely acknowledge the pollution caused by the event. KANS' presence, participation and efforts to tackle this problem will help further sensitize them to the problem.
KANS has convinced the committee to use bio degradable arecanut leaf plates instead of plastic and thermacol plates to serve the 25000 meals that will be dished up during the festival. KANS will subsidize the cost of the plates and also bear the cost of commercial firewood instead of jungle wood used to cook these meals.
A screening of the Kannada Version of 'Tales from an Indian Jungle (the one about Nagarhole) is also being planned at the spot during the festival.

We require 20-30 volunteers during to carry out this program. The major task will be disposal of plates and plastic. The proposed itinerary is as follows:
  1. Assemble at Anchetty Guest House on Friday, 4th February Friday night.
  2. Proceed to Dabguli on very early on Saturday morning.
  3. Stay over-night during the festival.
  4. Come back on early Sunday evening.

Points to remember:
Dabguli is deep inside the forest on the banks of the Cauvery. There are no sleeping facilities or toilets. Please carry enough water and sleeping bags/mats. Weather can turn chilly and dewy at night so carry enough warm clothes and cap. Volunteers will have to make own transportation arrangements. Venue is approachable by 2 wheeler/car.

Route from Bangalore: Bangalore-Hosur-Denkanikottai-Anchetty-Tagatti-Hunsenhalli-Belpatti-Manchugondanahalli-Dabguli

If you are interested in being a part of this, mail in to on or before Tuesday, 25th January, 2011. If you are coming by your own vehicle, kindly indicate how many more volunteers can join you from Bangalore/Hosur. We will get in touch with the team with detailed route and availablity of car-pool, on Wednesday, 26th January, 2011.


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