Mumbaikars assembled in large numbers braving the heat on Saturday to witness the wave of pink, the flamingos. The occasion was all time popular annual event of the BNHS “Flamingo Festival”, organized in association with Mangrove and Marine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation and supported by Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT). Visitors from diverse walks of life and age groups thronged the Sewri Jetty throughout the day. The excitement created by presence of almost 20,000 flamingos and other eye-catching water birds was amplified by this nature fair which included an illustrated exhibition on flamingos, a range of educational and interactive activities for children, book reading sessions by Deepak Dalal for his book titled ‘Flamingo in My Garden’, stalls displaying wildlife publications, educational material and a lot of exciting eco-friendly products based on the theme of flamingos. The Festival hosted thousands of visitors, BNHS staff and members along with two notable names of the glamour world, Mr Manish Hariprasad and Ms Sonali Kulkarni both enthusiastic nature lovers. Bird watchers, nature enthusiasts as well as people keen to know more about these winged guests mingled with BNHS experts and volunteers to understand about flamingos, their characteristics and habitat. Binoculars and spotting scopes arranged under parasols enabled them to take a sneak peek into the avian world. It was a perfect blend of information and interaction for visitors with the informative exhibition and an assortment of wildlife publications on display. Some interesting activities were also organized for kids such as face painting, quiz, span your wings, beaks.
The Flamingo Festival serves twin objectives of introducing people to the world of wetland birds and conveying the need for their conservation. Dr Deepak Apte, Director, BNHS, said, “Sewri and adjoining mudflats hold a large congregation of flamingos and other waders, hence creating awareness about them and their conservation is important. Vital coastal ecosystem comprising of mudflats, mangroves and creeks need to be protected for birds as well as for the well being of people. I am very happy that people from all backgrounds gathered here in such large numbers for experiencing the natural wealth. We believe it is the first and the most essential step towards conservation”. The message of conservation was effectively passed on to various stakeholders including students, teachers, corporates, businessmen, media and general public. This will go a long way in safeguarding the natural habitats of Mumbai.
Mr Manish Hariprasad inaugurating Flamingo Festival 2017