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A Beautiful Village “Pallishree” -India-

PALLISHREE Director General, Durga Prasod Dash

The Roots of Street Children Chilika Lake

Chilika Lake is situated on the Indian east coast, in Orissa. With an area of 100ha, it is the India's largest lagoon (brackish water lake). Noted as one of the most outstandingly biodiversity-rich sites in India, it is home to some endangered species including the Irrawaddy dolphin. Surrounding it are 132 villages populated by approximately 150 thousand people, seventy percent of whom fish for a living. Therefore, it can be said that local residents are heavily dependent upon the lagoon..

Threats to Chilika Lake

At present, Chilika Lake is threatened with both natural and anthropogenic dangers, including those mentioned below:

  1. 1) inflow of earth and sand as a result of farmland development in headwaters and tree felling;
  2. 2) diminishing of the lake surface and shallowing of the lake due to sedimentation of earth and sand;
  3. 3) desalination and contraction of the lake mouth connecting to the open sea;
  4. 4) desalination-caused decrease in the number of inhabiting species;
  5. 5) occupation of fishing grounds by foreign capital engaged in shrimp culture;
  6. 6) excessive catch by engine-powered boats and fine fishing nets.

Pallishree's Activities

At Center for Environmental Awareness and Education

"Pallishree" means "beautiful village" in th e Oriya language. We are an NGO with a mission to environmentally educate local residents. This year, we have been working in the area north of the lake with the objective of fostering local understanding towards the role of local residents in the conservation of the lake's unique ecosystem. Such activities include those following:

  1. 1) development and creation of material (Children's Environmental Awareness Book, "Chilika's Mirror," an environmental newspaper, environmental songs, etc.)and methods (wall painting, nature observation trails) for environmental education dissemination and public relations based on ideas given by local residents themselves;
  2. 2) identification of local issues through PRA (proactive and participatory research methods for agricu ltural villages);
  3. 3) courses and workshops to train teachers and local leaders;
  4. 4) establishment of a Center for Environmental Awareness and Education (CEAE) to serve as the local center for the diffusion of environmental education;
  5. 5) hosting symposiums inviting specialists from within the country and abroad;
  6. 6) celebrating "World Wetlands Day" (boat rally, essay contest, etc)

An example of wall painting

In January this year, the Chilika Development Agency (CDA) held the "International Workshop on Restoring Chilika Lake" in the provincial capital, Bhubaneswar. We invited guests from Hokkaido's Saroma Lake Cultivation Fisheries Cooperative, with which we have enjoyed a friendship from an earlier time, to see the present state of Chilika Lake. The interchange between Saroma Lake and Chilika Lake has become increasingly intense as of the end of last year, and we have been able to exchange mutually beneficial information.


137 Dharma Vihar, handagiri
Bhubaneswar, Orissa 751030
TEL: +91-674-471182
FAX: +91-674-552496

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