Chital Chewing Plastic Bag, Bandipur

Jayanth Sharma

Jayanth Sharma

Chosen as 'Picture of the Week'

A best practice to control littering by irresponsible tourists is practiced in Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in Maharashtra which permits even private vehicles on safaris. Here forest dept. guides travel in all vehicles entering the reserve carrying brown paper bags distributed at the gate. The moment any litter is generated by tourists in the vehicle, the guide promptly collects it in the bag. The bag is brought outside the park at the end of the safari.

While I love to shoot great action and beauty pictures of wildlife, I could not resist shooting this unfortunate scene in Bandipur recently. In my opinion, Bandipur is amongst the most abused national parks in India. It tolerates all sorts of issues caused by picnickers – starting from litter and yelling tourists, all the way to human-animal conflict. Tourists often enjoy a great picnic beside the National Highway that cuts through the park, after which they throw plastic and paper plates by the roadside.

I sometimes wonder about the quality of education in this country. Every kid grows up memorizing math tables and English poems. But what about basic environmental sensibilities like not littering? Can we not also introduce natural history and environment education programs in schools?

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