The modern lavish lifestyle has caused so much loss to biodiversity that we have lost thousands of rare species of creatures, plants, trees, etc and thousands more are on the verge of extinction. In India, where thinking for betterment of every creature has been the centuries’ old culture, around 35,000 species are struggling for survival. In this scenario, an oasis of hope has emerged from the desert of Rajasthan where a man, Laxman Singh under Laporia village of Dudu tehsil has revived over 135 species of rare birds and thousands of varieties of trees, plants and other creatures. Now his experiment has been adopted by 53 surrounding villages and 400 others are to follow.
The human greed for development has caused unrepairable loss to biodiversity world over. Even in the countries like Bharat, where the people have traditionally been educated for protection and preservation of every creature, the loss is huge. Out of over 50,000 species of biodiversity, around 35,000 are struggling for survival. There are species of trees, birds, insects, etc. which are on the verge of total extinction. When it comes to preserve them, we only think of lions, tigers, cats, rats, crocodile, alligators, fish, etc. but hardly think of the insects, birds, trees, seeds, plants, which basically balance the life cycle in the universe.
Undoubtedly, the efforts for protection of biodiversity are going on world over. The UNO observed the year 2010 as Biodiversity Year and it organises international meets after every two years for this objective. But the most disturbing part of all such efforts is that the nations, which caused maximum damage to the biodiversity, refuse to fund any campaign for their preservation. Therefore, none of such meetings has so far come out with any fruitful result. According to experts, the damage to biodiversity is not just what we see by our eyes. There are symptoms which are not visible right now but will be seen after decades. Only then we will feel that the loss of biodiversity is basically the loss of mankind.
In this alarming situation, the efforts of Laxman Singh in Laporia village on Jaipur-Ajmer Highway under Dudu tehsil of Rajasthan have come as an oasis in the desert. He has preserved about 135 rare species of birds. The number of insects, plants and trees which got new breathe of life after his efforts is in thousands. His experiment has been emulated by 53 surrounding villages of the same tehsil and 400 other villages under Tonk district are preparing to adopt his projects.
This work of serving the humanity in Laporia began about 30 years back. In the beginning, the villagers rejuvenated the gochar land. Trees and plants were allowed to grow there naturally. The entry of goats, cows, other animals or the human beings was totally restricted there. Now after 30 years, lakhs of plants and trees have come up attracting lakhs of insects, wild creatures, etc. Some eco parks, known as ‘Dev Banis’, were also created on the gochar land. In those ‘Dev Banis’, the wild creatures are allowed to live in complete natural way.
Since trees are the best and favourite places for birds to live, Laxman Singh took a campaign for tree plantation. At the public places like roads, village crossings, etc. plants of many varieties including Bar, banyan, neem, peepal have been planted to the extent that now anybody visiting the village can walk only under the shade of trees.
There is a clearly defined rule in the village—no creature will be disturbed and both insects and wild creatures will be preserved equally. There is another rule that water, feed and house will be ensured to everyone including insects, birds, animals or the human beings. For wild inhabitations some special houses have been created in complete natural ways. Disturbing the creature is an offence in the village. The punishment for cutting a tree is planting and nurturing two trees.
To turn this impossible into possible, the villagers first stopped using pesticides in the crops. They created a natural cycle where natural life of creatures remains undisturbed. When asked how one can expect crops in this modern age without pesticides, he said: “It is a wrong notion that the insects damage the crops. They rather protect the crops. It is impossible to take any crop without their help. People have forgotten this reality. Unfortunately, the chemical farming being followed under the so-called green revolution has basically created the system of killing the insects. It is a racket involving billions of rupees. The pesticides that we spray on the crops basically ruin them. Fact is that the entire pesticide cycle is enemy of the micro organisms. What we do in Laporia is that we create a special corner in each field, where the insects are allowed to live in natural way. That corner remains undisturbed. Our experiment of gochar has proved to be very helpful in this regard. It not only protected the natural inhabitants but also protected our crops.”
When asked how many species of birds or insects have been preserved in the village, Shri Laxman Singh says, “About five years back we invited the experts from forest department to study the biodiversity here. In their report they said they found 135 types of birds in the village, which are not generally found in other villages. The varieties of the insects, plants or trees are in thousands. In the villages where there is no any such effort to preserve the biodiversity, hardly 25 to 30 types of birds are found,” he points out.
Shri Laxman Singh drew the inspiration for it from leading environmentalist Anupam Mishra, who is now associated with the Gandhi Peace Foundation, New Delhi. “In the beginning we started the work to just change the negative image of our village, which was infamous for about 200 years due to wrong deeds of some of the people. Its earlier name was Ramgarh but it got the name of lapodi, which literary means the mad,” he added.
When the work of preserving the biodiversity grew, new feathers were added to the cap. Today, people trust and follow him. His work not only changed the reputation of the village but also gave new life to the lakhs of creatures, which find it difficult to survive because of the greed of the human beings.