On 30 January this year, on a sunny morning in winter, 10-year-old Khilawan, and a group of around 25 people comprising of children, young adults and the elderly were scouring the forest adjacent to Jharna Ghughari, their village in Dindori district of Madhya Pradesh.
Excitement and interest were visible on the young faces. Faces of the elderly showed satisfaction. The group discovered the richness and diversity of the jungle. They walked almost 7 km across the forest, to become familiar with the varieties of plants and animals existing in the forest, understand their dependence on the forest products and their various qualities.
With the premise that villagers would protect forests if they knew that it is an inherent part of their life, elders of Jharna Ghughari village help the younger generation discover the rich biodiversity of their forest. While the villagers turn forest defenders, the children take to conservation by documenting the species in a biodiversity register.