28th April, 2009 was the 1st Annual International SAVE THE FROGS day, which is a part of amphibian conservation program of a NGO SAVE THE FROGS. World wide many countries participate in many programs on that day. But the 28th April is not the only day, SAVE THE FROGS have many other events in round the year in many cities of the world. For more information: click for SAVE THE FROG Day and SAVE THE FROGs conservation program.
Birds Bangladesh (BB), a bird watching and bird conservation club in Bangladesh has take the initiative to participate in this world wide movement. BB arranged an art competition in Telia Para Primary School, Shahjanpur, Madabpur, Habigonj. Participants are from class five students of the school. Sayam U Chowdhury, creator of BB invites me to join their team for the awareness campaign. Another great grate bird watcher, senior brother of me Zamirudding Faisal also called me to join the program and I was feeling so lucky. Didn’t think much and I accepted the invitation.
As 28th April is an office day, BB Planned for 2nd May, 2009 with an 11 member team. We also have a Bird watching program as an add-on, because the main campaign will not take much time, but we have the whole day. So, Sayam planned to visit Shatchari National Park (SNP) after lunch, because SNP was very close from the Shahjan pur village.
2nd May, 2009, Morning 8.30 AM. As per plan, I went beside of Kakoli foot over bridge where from Sayam should pick me. I had a tea from local tea stall in road and saw that some other guys was also waiting for some one. It was a wild guess that they could be our team member, as I only know Sayam & Fahim and his friend Adiba from 11 members. Sayam reached the meeting place at sharp 9.00 AM. When I get into the micro bus, my guess becomes correct. The waiting guys were my team members. Nasir and Samia get into the micro bus just after me. Sayam came along with Shimona Miss, Fahim and Pavel bhai. Pavel bhai is the guy who helps with the overall arrangements and talking to the school principal for the program. We pick Adiba from Nikonjo, Atik, Shama and Samina from Uttara. Well I think S rulez that day :D. Though it was a remarkable density of S, with all together, it was a very nicely balanced team for such program.
We reached near Narshingdi i at 10.30 AM and stopped our microbus for a break fast/tea. Some of us take Ruti, Dal Vaji, but everyone takes tea and me took two cups of tea :D. Shimona miss bring sweets for all. Tested the sweet and that was really nice. Thanks again miss .
We started again and then the frustration started after watching sky. The whole sky was getting covered by dark black clouds and our hope for bird watching in Shatchari was dying per second. Fahim was most frustrated my view as it was his fist time in Shatchari. From the whole sky, we saw just a row of white/radish white sky near horizon.
I hopped that we might see a shiny sky just after Bhairab Bazar. But when w reached Bhairab bazaar, we didn’t see any changes.
I saw the Old Brahmma putra river in Bhairab Bazar many times. It’s a dead river now, but the river with the black cloud was looking very good to me. We passed the Bhairab-Ashugonj bridge in top of Meghna river..
No change in sky, moreover it’s started raining. At this time, I was frustrated too.
We reached watching close to Telia para Primary school at around 12.50 PM. Rain was still with us. Rest of 3 minutes (or 2minute?) walking distance road was a soil made road. The road was risky enough to pass with the microbus and we didn’t have enough umbrellas. Then we planned for go to school by two shifts. After the first migration, I started walk by covering my bag with his raincoat and me by my raincoat.
It was really a good feeling after reaching school. All students were looking at us with their very curious eyes. We meet Head sir of school and then get into class 5 room. Students were also getting prepared for something unknown for them. Then Shimona Miss started talking with students. Topics was how many frogs the saw regularly, how they behave bla bla. Then she played some frog calls in her laptop. The calls didn’t stop until we finished the program. It was really a nice environment.
Sayam was very quick to distribute the sketches of frogs to students to start the competition. The competition was actually to color the sketches with their imagination. Everyone helped him to do the task, except me :D. I was busy with photography. Shama, Samia, Samina helps by distributing color pencils to students. As per Sayams mails reference, Shama did a great job by collecting t he used pastel colors and reusing them as attractive gift materials for the students. Thanks to Shama from me.
The competition starts at 1.10 PM. Other teachers were already in class to visit and monitor. Our meets was also monitoring and guiding them up to a level. 30minutes students remain busy with coloring the sketches. Sayam took some data from the students during this time. Data such name, fathers occupation, who run their family etc.
At 1.40 pm we started taking back the sheets and we moved to teachers’ room.
We choose best 10 among around 35 students. Then we asked Head sir for choosing best three and he has come up with final result, the best three.
and best 10 are
We entered the class again and announced the 1st, 2nd and 3rd position. Sayam gifts T-shirts to winners. T-shirts were sponsored by Ronnie bhai (Ronald Halder):. Shimona miss gifts some Frog toys as well. From Birds Bangladesh, all students got some chocklets. After the price giving, Shimona miss give a speech to students. She spooked on use of plastic materials, over fertilizing our soils, how frogs helps ecosystem, how they are disappearing and how to save them. Miss you got thanks again from me, for the nice effort.
Then rest of the sheets has distributed to actual artist students.
After the competition we all took a group photo. Then Fahim also offered me to go in group and he’ll take photo. I really loved his group photo. Nice job man… . After the group photo, teacher asked us for some dry food . We had Biscuits and Chanachur then. After the refreshment, we said buy to Teliapara Primary School for that day.
At this part, I’d like to thanks some more people, whom I didn’t directly participate in the program, but helps the programs from background. Ishtiaque Shams: for designing the frog- banner, Rahul bhai (Saniar R. Rahul): for helping us out with the transport. Ronnie bhai (Ronald Halder): for contributing frog-t-shirts for the three winning students. Zamir bhai (Zamiruddin Faisal) : for providing the frog outline printouts. Thanks to all of you brothers. By luck rain stopped when we just come of school. Thanks to Allah.
After coming from school, we planned for lunch. 2:30 PM, We went in a bazaar near the school and took our lunch with Egg and fish. After the lunch, we too some drinks as well. After the lunch at 3.10 pm, we start for Shatchari National Park.
After a 20minutes journey, we reached our final destination of that day at 3:30.
It’s a project by Nishorgo. Shatchari National Park is a reserved rain forest. Size of the forest is 242 hectares /600Acre. Though is not that much a big area to be a forest, Shatchari has around 218 species of birds within this size. Really amazing.
We entered in a trail and started work. Every on gets busy within a few minutes. Some was busy with binocular, some with camera (:p me also) and rest either watching other or itching Pavel bhai. Well that was another attraction of the whole tour :D. I really enjoyed it and become strangled how Pavel bhai defend them. Great you are Pavel bhai.
We passed almost one and half hour inside the trail. The full time include go in and coming out. After coming out, we took tea, banana etc. we rest there for around 15/20 minutes and start journey to Dhaka.
After a short journey, we stopped in a restaurant in Madappur, Habiganj. Saw a beautiful sunset from there and the final journey to Dhaka begins. Overall it was a very good day to me. Meet some wonderful good souls. Felt very good as becoming part of such nature awareness program. Shatchari is such a place, as many times someone will visit that, the more s/he will want to visit. Lot of fun, lot of learning, even from the students of school, nature and team members. Everything gives me so pleasure, that the tour become one of remarkable tour in my life. A thanks goes to Sayam for a good arrangement and management.
Thanks to all team members for giving me a such nice tour. Thanks to all students & teachers of Teliapara Primary School and obviously SAVE THE FROGs team for starting such nice awareness program. Allah may bless you all.