The Resqink Association of Wildlife Welfare (RAWW) has taken the need for awareness about human-animal conflict mitigation to schools. With a forest area like Aarey within the city, the human-wildlife interface is a reality. To raise awareness about this and the city’s biodiversity, RAWW’s awareness team recently trained students of NEXT School in Mulund.
Pawan Sharma, founder of RAWW said, “Mumbai is one of the most unique cities in the world vis-à-vis urban wildlife, as we have many different habitats like rivers, lakes, sea, mangroves and forests.” He said Mumbai is also the financial capital of one of the growing countries in the world, and we have the highest density of leopards worldwide, so it becomes very interesting to see how animals have evolved here and how people have become willing to coexist with them. “It is also important, especially when it comes to spreading awareness regarding climate change, rising sea level and making life more sustainable,” he said.
He added that the basic idea is to reach out to schools, colleges and various corporates to make them aware about urban wildlife, the need for coexisting with it, and how they can help animals in their areas.
“Many a time, people don’t know what to do and how to respond to certain animal-related situations, so we just make them aware of such things and connect them more to nature and spread this information further,” said Sharma. “Gradually, this growing network motivates people to volunteer in animal welfare and environmental organisations, and help the forest department during clean-up drives at beaches and rivers, besides other activities related to the environment and wildlife conservation.”
Every year RAWW interacts with around 70 educational and corporate institutes and conducts programmes for all age groups from primary, secondary, high school, colleges and corporates, said the founder.
“Some of them are regular institutions as their batches keep changing every year. We have also posted the information on our social media handles and some institutions have already started approaching us,” said Sharma.